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Health funds misdirected while sufferers wait

Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

4 March 2001

Health funds misdirected while sufferers wait

Cancer patient waiting lists continue to multiply in the Waikato while at the same time the Government pours health money into a framework driven at making the Treaty of Waitangi central to health decisions, National's Health spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"It is ludicrous that Health Minister Annette King has spent at least $60,000 on a Treaty of Waitangi Framework for Health Waikato 'to enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi as the key strategic driver for the organisation' when other urgent health needs are left dangling with no funds.

"The strategy, most recently referred to as 'Development of Maori Health Gain Framework at Health Waikato', requires numerous doctors, surgeons and hospital staff to attend 100 workshops at campuses around the region. How much have they spent talking about how the Treaty should be involved in health?

"It's deplorable that the Government has made this a top priority while at the same time Waikato Health is having to keep patients on growing waiting lists for oncology treatment.

"Annette King must get her priorities right. The signal she is sending to hospitals is that it's better to spend the money on the Treaty strategy than direct it to the people under stress awaiting cancer treatment," Mr Sowry said.


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