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All Pre-Sales Hype, And No After Sales Service

Media Release

4 December 2001

GOVERNMENT ON HEALTH - ALL PRE-SALES HYPE, AND NO AFTER SALES SERVICE.

New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters has expressed his disappointment that the Government and the Minister of Health, in particular, are so dismissive of the health needs of ordinary New Zealanders, as demonstrated by their total disinterest in the concerns of health workers striving to improve their pay and conditions in order to provide an improved service to patients.

“Where is the evidence that their pre-election promises and hype have delivered one jot of improved service or enhanced access to public health,” Mr Peters asked.

“To have 3,000 health workers on strike for 48 hours in Christchurch and radiologists about to commence similar action in the North Island indicates that something is very seriously wrong in the public health system,” said Mr Peters.

“In my experience, health workers do not take such drastic action lightly or without considerable justification,” he said.

“The Minister of Health is responsible for the delivery of health services throughout New Zealand and her attempts to hide behind the vagaries of the District Health Boards and declare that it is they who are responsible for the delivery of public health, when at all times it is she who controls the distribution of funding for these essential services, is nothing less than a cynical manipulation of the truth,” claimed Mr Peters.

“Public health services are in serious disarray in New Zealand at present and the current Minister, Annette King, is proving to be a hopelessly lame and ineffective Minister, quite inadequate for the task required of her,” he said.

“Equally of concern, are the efforts of the Prime Minister to head off further strikes in the public health industry, through the making of vague promises to the Labour Party Conference, that next year will see an increase in the health budget of up to $400 million. That figure, equates to the likely nationwide Health Board debts at the end of 2002,” concluded Mr Peters.


ENDS



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