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New bid to hide health policy failures

Dr Lynda Scott MP
National Party Health Spokeswoman

20 January 2004

New bid to hide health policy failures

National Party Health spokeswoman Lynda Scott is concerned that serious illness may go undiagnosed because of the latest bid to hide the Government's failing health policies.

She's responding to reports that the Auckland District Health Board plans to reduce the waiting times for hundreds of ear, nose and throat patients by referring them back to their GPs.

"The simple fact is that these patients were referred to the specialist because their GP has real concerns about their condition.

"The problems are not always life threatening, but often they can have a dramatic impact on a person's quality of life," says Dr Scott.

"But instead of being dealt with, by the appropriate health professional, those who've already faced long waits are being sent back to their GP.

"In many cases this policy will simply delay the inevitable.

"This will come at tremendous cost to the patient, who will have to pay again to visit their GP. Many are already faced with time off school or work.

"Children will lose their hearing and the elderly will remain deaf under this plan," says Dr Scott.

"It's yet another ploy to hide health policy failures, similar to the Government move to dump thousands of people from the surgical waiting list.

"Those who can't afford private treatment continue to suffer - it's hardly first world healthcare," says Dr Scott.


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