Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


About-Facing Minister

About-Facing Minister

ACT New Zealand Whangarei-based Associate Health Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today accused Health Minister Annette King of double standards with regard to Kaitaia Hospital's after-hours services.

"Tomorrow's Northland District Health Board meeting, to discuss the future of Kaitaia Hospital's 24-hour seven-day surgical cover, is merely the latest episode in a saga involving Ms King," said Dr Newman.

"Before the election, the Minister swept into Northland and restored after-hours surgical cover in the wake of public uproar. She established an Independent Review Team to monitor the situation and left - with the entire controversy conveniently swept under the carpet.

"The Review Team claims it can find no reason for the hospital to continue its services, for clinical and cost reasons. And the Minister would be happy to see these services cut. Yet in 1998, as Opposition Health Spokesman, Annette King attacked the National Government's plan to limit surgical services in Kaitaia stating it would be `an absolute disaster'.

"She also stated `that lives will be threatened is beyond doubt. The Far North region is a huge area. Rural people needing emergency medical treatment will find themselves hours away from their closest hospital'.

"Now, as Health Minister, in an act of profound hypocrisy, she will be overseeing the very limiting of surgical services she so bitterly complained about.

"Northland DHB faces deficits of around $5.5 million this year, and next. That means this Government is under funding Northland health services on a massive scale. The board has already announced a $1.7 million budget blowout this month, stating that some health services will have to be cut. Kaitaia hospital surgical services are clearly a target.

"The problems facing Kaitaia Hospital are driven by resource pressure, due to Labour's health funding cuts. That the Northland DHB is one of a dozen boards which - seven months into the financial year - have not signed off their annual plans, is a symptom of the Minister's incompetent leadership.

The people of Kaitaia deserve an assurance that any changes to services are driven by clinical needs, not funding cuts. In spite of her hand wringing in 1998, the Minister can now give no such assurance, Dr Newman said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election