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Poor Growth Equals Poor Health Care

19 August 2002

Poor Growth Equals Poor Health Care

"The serious health problems that have come to light during the last two weeks are a direct result of the New Zealand economy's poor growth performance over the past half century," says National's finance spokesman Don Brash.

Dr Brash says issues such as a 15-year-old waiting six days for treatment of a broken collar-bone, a man having to cut off his own gangrenous finger because of the pain and leukaemia sufferers being denied drugs which could prolong their lives, highlight the problem.

"Last night's television programme on Glivec illustrates the point and, sadly, debates about providing New Zealanders with the latest drugs will continue to arise. The names will change, but the problem will remain the same - as long as our economy continues to under perform.

"The harsh reality is that New Zealand no longer has a first-world healthcare system. Our citizens are dying because the treatment that could save them is not available in this country.

"The even harsher reality is that we will not have a first-world healthcare system until we again have a first-world economy.

"National is committed to delivering all New Zealanders a world-class health system and the world-class economy that goes with it," Dr Brash says.

Ends

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