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Minister Confirms Second Rate Health System

Health Minister Annette King's claims that New Zealand is not rich enough to have a health system as good as other western countries such as Australia and Britain confirms she's downgrading us to a Second World health system, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"Last week the chief executive of the Auckland District Health Board suggested we needed to debate whether or not we have a Second World health system. The Minister rejected that but is now saying we can't keep up with Australia, the US, Britain and Canada. Which countries does she think we can keep up with?

"National totally rejects the fact that New Zealanders have to accept second best in health.

"Labour did not promise us a Second World Health system when they said they were going to increase our taxes for better health services. A Second World health system wasn't one of the credit card pledges they gave before the last election.

"The current hospital deficit of $240 million has been driven by two years of inadequate funding. The Government makes choices and it has chosen to spend on these areas instead of health:

* Kiwibank $80 million
* Superfund $600 million
* Air New Zealand $1 billion
* Maori television $175 million
* Arts and culture $86 million

"Annette King says the buck will stop with her in health, but she's now telling New Zealanders they will only get a second rate health system," Mr Sowry said.


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