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Why Is Labour Letting Patients Die?

Why Is Labour Letting Patients Die?

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today attacked the Labour Government for letting yet another patient die, in the wake of reports that a second man has died while awaiting heart surgery at Wellington Hospital.

"In effect, the Labour Government is killing patients with its philosophical objection to private healthcare - when answers to my written Parliamentary Questions show that Wakefield Hospital is able to treat these patients in a cost effective manner - an is able to see them almost immediately," Mrs Roy said.

"This is the second heart patient to have died after being twice admitted for heart surgery, and twice sent home. It is totally unacceptable for the Government to allow people to die on public waiting lists when there is spare capacity in the private sector. Both of these Wellington patients could have been transferred to Wakefield Hospital for immediate surgery after cancellation at Wellington Hospital.

"Psychologically, it is very draining for patients to mentally prepare themselves for major surgery, only to have their operation cancelled.

"A spokesperson for the Health Ministry has said that they encourage public-private partnerships in healthcare, but the Wellington situation tells a very different story - one of a Government that allows itself to be distracted by its own views and opinions to the detriment of patients.

"Two heart patients have died on waiting lists in the past two months, and this will continue unless Health Minister Annette King sets aside Labour's personal agenda and begins doing what she is paid to do - ensure quality healthcare for New Zealanders," Mrs Roy said.

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