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Temporary band-aid for Kaitaia driven by election

Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

11 July 2002

Temporary band-aid for Kaitaia driven by election campaign

The Minister of Health's fire-fighting in Northland today won't solve the problems of lack of services at Kaitaia Hospital, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

"This is a only temporary measure that will not solve the serious issues which need to be addressed.

"We know there are health cuts coming after this election because the Government is telling boards they must make $120 million worth of health cuts. Hospitals operating deficits are over $200 million but the Government says that must be cut back to $80 million.

"The Minister has previously said that money is not the issue behind Kaitaia's problems, but today she has announced more money to address the problems, albeit only temporarily.

"This is a three-month stay of execution for Kaitaia Hospital but what happens when the funding runs out? The Minister must expose the hidden agenda to reduce services at hospitals across the country.

"Annette King has had months to sort out this problem in Northland. This is simply a temporary band-aid to get her past the heat of an election campaign," Mr Sowry said.


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