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Patients needlessly waiting for heart surgery

Patients needlessly waiting for heart surgery

Monday 6 Dec 2004

Heather Roy - Press Releases - Health

Annette King must accept responsibility for the growing number of New Zealanders waiting for cardiothoracic surgery at Wellington Hospital, ACT Health spokesman Heather Roy said today

"Media reports today have revealed that the number of patients waiting more than six months for heart surgery has skyrocketed - from zero in September 2003 to 47 now," Miss Roy said.

"There is a feeling of déjà vu with this. It isn't the first time that the waiting list has been cleared only to grow to unacceptable proportions again.

"These people are needlessly waiting too long for surgery. Most could have been treated at the private Wakefield Hospital, just a short distance up the road, rather than be forced to languish on Helen Clark's waiting list.

"Sadly, the District Health Boards have been ordered to perform surgery `in house' by a government that is blinded by a ideological fear of the private sector.

"Annette King is failing those awaiting surgery when she refuses to look to use private hospitals to reduce the waiting list.

"ACT believes New Zealanders deserve the best quality services, in the best time, at the best price. If that means using private hospitals, like Wakefield, then so be it.

"I call on Annette King to do what is right for these patients. She must set aside her blinkered opposition towards the private sector and start ensuring quality health care for all New Zealanders - regardless of where it comes from," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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