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Health Ministry Glasnost?

Monday 7 Jun 2004
Heather Roy
Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today that communications between Ministry of Health officials and Health Minister, Annette King, are plainly not what they should be.

"Last week the Health Ministry told Annette King what it was hoping for in the coming financial year via a `wish-list' published in the Dominion Post. The Ministry hoped for more surgery, better access to mental health care and no more budget blowouts amongst Health Boards.

"The Ministry appears to have lost sight of its own purpose - it is the Ministry of Health's responsibility to ensure these things are happening.

"Health Minister, Annette King, needs to begin talking directly to her officials. Unfortunately the right hand has no idea what the left is doing - and long-suffering patients and staff at the coalface are the unwitting victims.

"Health Ministry officials are very quick to refer my information requests (as a Health select committee member and opposition spokesman) to the Minister's Office insisting they cannot communicate directly with me. But when the Minister and Ministry communicate via the newspaper it would seem something is seriously amiss - or is this their collective view of Glasnost?" Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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