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Labour admits Health Care not affordable now

Media Statement

Sunday July 7 2002

Labour admits Health Care not affordable now – and asks us to wait 8-10 years.

Labour has admitted that health care in New Zealand is not affordable now, says Alliance Leader Laila Harré in response to the release of Labour’s Health Policy.

“Labour has said that New Zealanders can expect ‘affordable health care in 8-10 years’ - admitting that it’s not affordable now.

“The astonishing thing is that Labour is also telling New Zealanders that they will have to wait for 8-10 years before it is affordable. That means 8-10 years more of preventable cases of rheumatic fever, asthma and diabetes. 8-10 years more of people not going to the doctor when they need to.

“Unfortunately epidemics don’t go away because you tell them to wait 8-10 years. They just get worse.

“The only new money that Labour is saying they will put into Primary Health Care is the $400 million already allocated by the Labour-Alliance Government. I fail to see how Labour can construct almost an entire policy around things that have already been achieved by this Government.”

Laila Harré said that Labour’s policy was very short on details - including how they were going to pay for any improvements in health care - and concrete commitments.

“There is no new money to cut hospital waiting lists, to deal with DHB debt or to solve the crisis in rural health.”

The Alliance will release its Health Policy tomorrow morning.

ENDS

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