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Huge health deficits will cost lives

Dr Lynda Scott MP National Party Health Spokeswoman

22 January 2004

Huge health deficits will cost lives

National Party Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott says the huge deficits being supported by the country's District Health Boards will cost lives and we've seen evidence that they are already.

She's commenting on reports Capital and Coast District Health Board is preparing to 'slash' spending in a move that professionals believe will lead to service cutbacks.

"New Zealand heart patients are dying on the waiting list because this Government won't send them to private health providers with empty beds. "In a bid to cut back on deficits, operating rooms were forced to close for longer over summer, and new figures reveal that fewer operations are being performed now than when Labour took office.

"The Capital and Coast District Health Board's already five million in the red six months into the year.

"It's still more proof that Labour's ideologically driven reform of the health system is leading to more bureaucracy - not better service," says Dr Scott.

"It's the same old story. Officials, well briefed in the Government's spin, publicly deny there'll be cut backs, then talk to staff privately about saving money.

"Big deficits inevitably lead to cuts right across the board. Capital expenditure is often the first casualty, which is merely a recipe for future debt," says Dr Scott.

Ends

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