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Health Minister Needs To Get Real

07 October 2004

Health Minister Needs To Get Real

Rt Hon Winston Peters is urging the Health Minister to address the ever-growing hospital waiting times in the Bay of Plenty region by concentrating on patients and not bureaucrats.

This follows reports that half of the 42 triage one patients throughout the country who were not treated immediately were in the Bay of Plenty.

“After five years of a Labour Government the health boards are struggling to provide basic services, the real number of people on waiting lists (or removed from waiting lists and sent back to GPs) has grown dramatically, and the Health Minister has passed the buck to the district health boards,” said Mr Peters.

“In the last four years under the current Minister, health spending has increased by 29 percent, yet the number of operations has fallen by 1.2 percent.

“Whilst there is a case for increased funding, the Ministry could most certainly make better use of the present resources available.

“It is a wonder anyone gets an operation at all when the Government insists on pouring most of its resources for health into 21 sets of health bureaucracies up and down the country, all trying to re-invent the wheel.

“Rather than pouring dollars into policy gurus, paper pushers and kia ora police, the money should be going to frontline services.

“Desperately sick or injured people are having to wait for hospital treatment while the money to provide them with necessary health care is being wasted on the travel costs of health board administrators attending conferences, seminars and symposia,” concluded Mr Peters.


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