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Outpatient Delay Outrageous

Media Release
5 March 2004

Outpatient Delay Outrageous

“The six month delay being endured by outpatients in Auckland before they can be seen by a specialist is outrageous,” said New Zealand First’s health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.

The Auckland District Health Board said that the waiting time has increased considerably over the past six months and that moving to a new hospital is partly to blame.

“Aucklanders have a nice, shiny new hospital but that is not much consolation to people who have been waiting for months for assessments,” said Mrs Stewart.

“Patients who are waiting to see specialists will, in some cases, be unable to work until their health problems are addressed and at a minimum are suffering from a degree of discomfort which affects their quality of life.

“Those who cannot afford private care are effectively being sidelined by health care shortages.

“The two conclusions to be drawn from this are that either Government health funding is not adequate to provide services at an acceptable level or the Auckland DHB is not managing its money properly.

“Whichever it is the Minister of Health should take some responsibility and take steps to remedy the situation. The buck ultimately stops at her door,” said Mrs Stewart.


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