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Govt Gags Negative Stories On Run-Down Health

11 June 2002

Govt Gags Negative Stories On Run-Down Health System

Northland District Health Board stopping a senior surgeon from talking to the media about his concerns regarding patient safety is the result of the Government's gagging of DHBs, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"It is absolutely ridiculous that a doctor cannot voice his concerns about patient safety following the decision to scrap after-hours surgery at Kaitaia Hospital. This is political correctness gone mad.

"What this means is that the Government doesn't want the people of Northland to know about the risks they face as a result of the decision to cut after-hours surgery.

"This doctor has simply pointed out the closure puts patients hours away from emergency medical help and at risk. However, the Government, through the board, does not want people to know about that.

"It is trying to shut down a doctor who has concerns about situations where patients lives may be in danger. It doesn't want the public to know the facts. The public have a right to know the way this Government is running down the health system, particularly when the public is deciding how they will vote at the polls," Mr Sowry said.


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