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Hospital Move Too Little Too Late

Hospital Move Too Little Too Late

Wednesday 14 Apr 2004 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Health

Wellingtonians could have had greater certainty about the delivery of heart surgery sooner, had Health Minister Annette King set aside her Government's dislike of private health providers and directed Capital and Coast District Health Board to consider other heart surgery providers, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"When Wakefield Hospital previously held the contract, until 2001, the region's heart surgery waiting list was completely eliminated," Mrs Roy said.

"Since CCDHB refused to renew that contract, the number of patients awaiting heart surgery has steadily grown. While welcoming this latest move, Wellingtonians will not forget the deaths of two men who were forced to wait too long for their surgery.

"Having called for better use of the private sector in health for years, ACT welcomes this move - but cannot forget that Labour's philosophical dislike of the private sector has already resulted in patient deaths.

"In fact, this Government has allowed its ideological opposition of the private sector to taint its health policies for so long, that there are now questions as to whether this latest move it simply a way for Labour to look like it is actually doing something when it is not.

"I hope that this does not prove to be the case. For far too long the Labour Government has allowed itself to be distracted by bricks and mortar, while ignoring the availability of other providers simply because they are privately owned.

"Contracting cardiac cases to Wakefield Hospital is a sensible move that will save lies. But Ms King would do well to remember that, for at least two Wellington men and their families, this move is too little too late," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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