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Vital that ACC contracts are sorted

Vital that ACC contracts are sorted

Continued quality care for patients is vital if ACC follows its threat to pull its multi-million dollar elective surgery contract from the country's largest private hospital Mercy-Ascot Hospital, says National ACC Spokesperson Dr Paul Hutchison.

"The public has a right to expect value for the money spent on private or public contracts and ACC always has the option to change who it contracts with.

"While Mercy-Ascot has a very good reputation, if it is not performing up to the standard ACC sets regarding its contract then ACC can go elsewhere - there are seven hospitals in Auckland it can use.

"The best way to do this is by maintaining choice across the private and public services available.

"It is no secret that the public health system is severely stretched with thousands of people unable to get operations. It is a year since the case of a young boy with a fractured collarbone who waited more than a week for surgery at public hospital. His operation was performed immediately when he was transferred to a private hospital.

"Helen Clark caused great offence by publicly denigrating Mercy-Ascot when it opened, again exposing her preference for a monopolistic, and therefore inefficient, public health system.

"Unlike the Prime Minister there is no doubt in my mind that having a choice of high quality public and private hospitals, where public money can be spent, gives patients the best and most cost effective care," Dr Hutchison said.

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