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Give Private Healthcare A Chance

Give Private Healthcare A Chance

Labour should consider a more broadminded attitude toward private sector involvement in healthcare - then it might not have to fork out taxpayers' money to have cancer patients treated in Australia, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy asked today.

"Media reports today state that New Zealand has relied on private Australian hospitals to treat more than 200 Kiwi patients since 2000. But if our private hospitals could be assured of these contracts, they might buy the equipment and treat patients themselves," Mrs Roy said.

"New Zealand's private hospitals cannot be blamed for their lack of adequate radiology equipment - Labour's philosophical objection to private healthcare has meant that such a purchase would not be viable.

"Yet it appears that the Government's objection to private healthcare does not extend to private hospitals across the Tasman. But at $15,000 per patient - for treatment, accommodation and transport for the patient and support person - it would make sense for Labour to consider using our own private sector.

"Making these contracts available to private hospitals here in New Zealand would not only offer private hospitals an incentive to look at purchasing the necessary equipment, but could also mean less waiting and less stress for patients in need of timely treatment," Mrs Roy said.

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