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Surgical penny pinching in Otago just the start

Surgical penny pinching in Otago just the start

National Party Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott says the penny pinching that has forced the cancellation of scheduled surgery in Dunedin is just the beginning.

"When sick New Zealanders are being forced to wait for surgery because the money has run out, the Health Minister must know there's a fundamental flaw in the system.

"With forecast District Health Board deficits closing in on the $200 million mark, the scenario at Dunedin Hospital is set to be repeated all over the country.

"Annette King has been pouring millions more taxpayer dollars into health, but it's going to all the wrong places," says Dr Scott.

"For example, the Counties Manukau region is set to get $28 million extra this year, but not one cent of that money will go into new services.

"It will only service their increasing deficit.

"The Labour Government's ideological experiment with our health service is failing, we do not need another layer of bureaucracy, we need doctors and nurses and they need resources to do their jobs.

"I predict District Health Boards will continue to rack up large deficits, deny patients elective surgery, squeeze wage rates and not invest in new equipment.

"New Zealanders deserve better than that," Dr Scott says.

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