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Front Up, Labour

Front Up, Labour

Tuesday 3 Jun 2003 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today attacked the Ministry of Health for claiming to encourage public-private partnerships in healthcare - when the unnecessary deaths of two patients tell a very different story.

"Two men, admitted twice for surgery and twice sent home, have died needlessly. They were sent home because of overcrowding in Wellington Hospital's ICU - yet the private Wakefield Hospital, just a short distance up the road, could have treated these men immediately," Mrs Roy said.

"Why were they not sent there? Wakefield Hospital had the theatre space, and available surgeons, to perform the operations. They have said that, if given the opportunity, they could have treated these patients immediately after Wellington Hospital cancelled their surgery. Tragically, they did not get the chance.

"Now the Government is trying to say that it encourages partnerships between the public and private health sectors. Clearly, this is not true, when no heart cases have been referred to Wakefield Hospital since its contract was withdrawn in 2001.

"By its actions, the Labour Government has shown that it values its ideological opposition to private healthcare more highly than it does people's lives. No one has been fooled by its attempts to excuse itself - not the patients' families, not the media, and not the private hospital that could have saved two lives. I am calling on Labour to admit it was wrong, and to take responsibility for its actions," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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