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Health System In Crisis

Media Release
26 February 2004

Health System In Crisis

“The health system in New Zealand has reached a crisis point with waiting lists longer than ever, patients qualification being tested by a ridiculous ‘pain-ranking’ system and GP’s fleeing because of appalling working conditions,” said New Zealand First health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.

“In 1999 the Labour Government promised voters to cut waiting lists yet we hear every day about patients who are waiting for years for operations or worse referred back to their GP’s.

“Today it was reported that patients waiting for gallstone surgery must suffer at least four attacks of severe pain and vomiting before they will be considered for surgery.

“This new type of pain-ranking is outrageous and is obviously a last resort attempt by a health board to cope with the number of patients coming through with inadequate resources.

”As well as this we have GP’s saying they are unhappy with their working conditions and that fewer than 30% think they will still be practicing in the next four years.

“These are just more examples of a Government that has failed to deliver on its promises.

“While the Government sits on a huge budget surplus to flaunt during election year it continually fails to deliver the resources needed to solve the problem.

“It is time for the Government to put its money where its mouth is and sort out the crumbling health system once and for all,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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