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Government Heartless Says Stewart

Media Release
03 March 2004

Government Heartless Says Stewart

New Zealand First has demanded answers as to why the Government is allowing elderly New Zealanders to go blind.

“It is appalling that Southland doctors have banded together to block Australian eye doctors from coming to New Zealand to help reduce long waiting lists,” said health affairs spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“It is bad enough that we have such long waiting lists, but to compromise New Zealander’s quality of life because local doctors do not want competition from overseas doctors is despicable,” said Mrs Stewart.

“It is ironic that a New Zealand inspired Fred Hollows foundation operates on people in the third world for $5 an operation whilst New Zealanders struggle to retain their eyesight because of the Government’s lack of funding and a band of uncompetitive renegade surgeons.

“If health was adequately funded then we would not have the need to bring in doctors from overseas to perform routine operations.

“When an elderly person cannot see, their quality of life diminishes drastically, it is time for the Government to act and ensure that the elderly do not suffer unnecessarily,” said Mrs Stewart.


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