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King Fumbles Cause Another Health Crisis

Annette King's call for an urgent report on cardiac waiting times in the South Island shows the Minister is always operating in catch up mode, National's Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"The build up of patients waiting for cardiac surgery hasn't happened overnight. The Minister could see the problem growing in the regular reports on waiting times and waiting lists from the Ministry of Health - it defies belief that the Ministry didn't tell Annette King of these problems.

"The Minister should be making it her business to know exactly what is happening with cardiac waiting times. It is imperative now that she makes this report public.

"Annette King always lets health problems get to a crisis point before she takes any action. It takes the Opposition raising health issues in Parliament for the Minister to notice there's a problem.

"Waiting times for North Island patients are also growing. In Auckland there are 249 patients waiting. In Wellington the number waiting has leapt from 100 to 25 in the past 12 months and 50 patients are waiting longer than six months.

"This cardiac surgery blow out makes a mockery of the Government's promise to make elective services a priority," Mr Sowry said.


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