Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Health Funding Crisis Set To Worsen

The prevailing health funding crisis will inevitably worsen, with ongoing pay demands for increases throughout the sector, ACT Health Spokesman Ken Shirley predicted today.

"A new round of union militancy can be expected, with increasingly unrealistic demands, supported by strike action.

"The Employment Relations Act, championed by the coalition, has bestowed new powers on unions. They now have greater leverage to progressively push the limits of their demands.

"The problem has been further compounded by erratic funding flows for health under this Government and the politicisation of health resulting from the unwanted and unnecessary structural upheavals. The first two years of this Government saw public health sector funding frozen, with the 2000-2001 financial year seeing a per capita cut, after allowing for inflation.

"Late last year the Government announced a $3 billion funding package, commencing in election year and spread over three years. The new area health boards cannot plan under erratic stop-go funding and the announced increase invites all groups, including the unions, to bid their hardest to capture as much as possible.

"Some 80 percent of health funding is spent on salary and wages. With $8 billion allocated from taxpayers this year, that means that some $6.4 billion is consumed by salary and wages. An average pay round of 20 percent would cost in the order of $1.3 billion - more than the signalled annual increase in health funding.

"Under this likely scenario it is clear we can only expect further cuts in health services, which will erode the health sector and further compound health professionals' dissatisfaction. The fear is that we are embarking on a self-perpetuating downward cycle.

"This downward spiral must be curtailed. ACT advocates a greater involvement of the private sector to ensure that all health resources are allocated and used in an optimum manner. The level of wastage within the public health sector is appalling. Most of that wastage flows from inefficient resource allocation. This Government is moving in the opposite direction - with increased central control and more state provision. This can only compound the problems," Ken Shirley said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news