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Minister Sees The Light - At Long Last

Minister Sees The Light - At Long Last

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today welcomed the Health Minister's call for the private sector to be used to reduce waiting lists, but asked why it has taken her so long to see the light.

"Ms King is quite right to chastise Capital and Coast DHB for not thinking of this measure themselves," said Mrs Roy.

"But, while it is encouraging to see that the Minister is finally agreeing with policy that ACT has always advocated, the question remains as to why she has had to intervene in the first place. Why has she now chosen to intervene, when she usually devolves responsibility to every man and his dog? She must be truly embarrassed that people are forced to wait so long for heart surgery - yet this situation is of her own making.

"This is a clear indication that there is trouble in Ms King's supposed Health `paradise' - trouble which is endemic of waiting lists throughout the country. If New Zealand's DHBs were receiving effective leadership from the Minister, then there should have been no reason for her to step in.

"The fact is that Ms King falls flat in her role as Health Minister. The private sector could be used much more, as advocated by the World Health Report 2000, which states, `that the private sector has the potential to play a positive role in improving the performance of the health system'.

"Dispelling the politically correct dogma that opposes private health providers has long been part of ACT Health policy, the cornerstone of which is the cooperation of public and private health systems to ensure quality healthcare for all New Zealanders," Mrs Roy said.

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