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Specialists confirm Govt 'spin' surrounds cuts

Dr Lynda Scott MP National Party Health Spokeswoman

20 August 2003

Specialists confirm Govt 'spin' surrounds cuts

National Party Health spokeswoman Lynda Scott says Salaried Medical Specialists have confirmed the long-held belief that political 'spin's' being used to hide the true depth of cuts at our public hospitals.

"I can understand the frustration of Salaried Medical Specialists because I've found Health Minister Annette King almost never provides proper answers to my questions in Parliament.

"She's been dodging the questions for four years and now it's time she started answering for her Labour Government," Dr Scott says.

"Salaried Medical Specialists have said today that the public's being misled with a claim that Auckland's lower than budgeted deficit of $49.7 million had been achieved without 'having to cut patient services'.

"Those senior doctors know like I do, that this is not the truth," says Dr Scott.

"All New Zealanders should sit up and take notice when senior doctors say they're 'placed under undue pressure to cut corners and take risks'.

"The Auckland Hospital ICU has cut its nursing salary bill by $300,000 and there's been increased pressure on the DHB to cancel scheduled surgery because of under-resourcing," Dr Scott says.

"The rebuilt Auckland hospital will have 200 fewer beds than currently available and we also know 25,000 patients were dumped from the country's waiting lists last year.

"These are cuts by any measure and it's time this Government started confronting the reality of the situation.

"They must start listening to doctors on the frontline, who are under increasing pressure to cover up for this Government's dishonesty," says Dr Scott.

Ends

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