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Minister ignores strike-affected patients plight


Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokesperson

25 October 2002

Minister ignores plight of strike-affected patients

Health Minister Annette King is ignoring the plight of thousands of patients affected by hospital strikes which will prevent patients getting treatment where and when they need it.

"The Minister says that under legislation she can't intervene in industrial negotiations. But this doesn't prevent her assuring the public of patient safety. She should be reassuring the public of Auckland that lives will not be at risk.

"Annette King was keen to rightly intervene when a baby may have been videoed for a pornography shoot, but she passes the buck when it comes to people being moved from Auckland hospitals to other cities and hospitals due to industrial action.

"Why is she refusing to get involved in this issue which affects services to thousands of patients?

"The Minister's health reforms and underfunding have put district health boards into huge deficits. Boards are underfunded and this is why they are facing so much industrial strife," said Dr Scott.

Ends

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