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

 


King Must Come Clean On Pending Health Cuts

ACT Health Spokesman Ken Shirley today urged Minister Annette King to come clean and finally concede to New Zealanders that major cuts will be needed to health services in order for the service providers to drag themselves out of the red.

"In its five-year plan, the country's largest healthcare provider, the Auckland District Health Board, says achieving the Government's target of break even in the next three years `is a significant challenge'.

"This seems to me to be a great understatement by the board, because its preliminary financial projections show that in the 2004/05 financial year the board will record a deficit of $72 million - exactly the same as the forecast level of deficit in the current financial year and some $59 million more than the level of deficit the Government has said it will support.

"So what will the board do? It says the deficit gaps will need to be addressed and this will involve identifying further savings and `service change options that will lead to a reduction in service levels in some areas. It is also likely that any service reductions will be greater than the amount of the deficit gap'.

"Does the Minister need the situation any more clearly laid out for her? And yet she still refuses to publicly concede that such cuts will occur. This is the same Minister who was saying just shortly before Christmas that the combined deficit of the 21 health boards was unlikely to exceed $100 million this year - when it has now reached about $250 million.

"The Minister has no credibility. By refusing to accept the extent of the problems she is making them worse. Under this Minister the New Zealand public can anticipate a sharp deterioration in the level of health services provided. Indeed the Minister is already trying to lower expectations, commenting recently in a speech that `there is a growing understanding I believe in the wider New Zealand community that no Government can meet all New Zealander's expectations about health'.

"The 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. What is needed is a 180 degree turn in policy - very quickly," Ken Shirley said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news