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Hospital Spending Up, Productivity Down

Hospital Spending Up, Productivity Down

A damaging new report, showing hospital productivity has only risen 1.5 percent despite a 7 percent jump in funding, highlights Health Minister Annette King's mismanagement of her portfolio, ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"Treasury's report on the performance of New Zealand's 21 District Health Boards, released late this evening, shows that between 1 July 2003 and the end of June 2004, Labour's Budget spend-up of taxpayers' money has failed to lift hospital productivity.

"This report, which I have spent months chasing through OIA requests, shows just why Annette King has thwarted me at every turn - it is damning. Despite being prepared in August, she has delayed its release in order to `contextualise' it to avoid `misinterpretation'.

"What this report exposes is that despite Helen Clark pouring millions of extra taxpayers' money into the health system, it has failed to provide New Zealanders with better services.

"Today's report shows Annette King's health reforms are failing New Zealanders. Just recently the Minister was publicly embarrassed after I revealed that 3,803 patients had died while awaiting surgery since September 2000.

"It is becoming crystal clear that under this Government, health money is being spent on bureaucracy building - not making sick New Zealanders better. I predict the problem will only get worse as long as Annette King remains Minister," Mrs Roy said.

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