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Poor waiting list performance

King desperate to counter poor waiting list performance

Wednesday 2 Feb 2005

Heather Roy - Press Releases -Health

Health Minister Annette King's election year self-praise over orthopaedic operations is a transparent attempt to counter rapidly growing evidence that Labour is failing New Zealanders in relation to elective surgery, ACT Health spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"The most damning proof so far is the Health and Independence Report 2004 - dumped on Christmas Eve - which revealed that despite a growing population, the number of elective operations carried out in the last three years is almost unchanged," Mrs Roy said. In 2001/02 there were 111,032 elective surgery discharges, in 2003/04 there were only 111,437 - despite New Zealand's population growing by 127,000 people.

"That's why Ms King has over 62,000 patients assessed as needing surgery on waiting lists, of whom 32,000 are waiting on her hidden Active Review list - Labour's waiting list for the waiting list.

"The Minister had trumpeted the ability of District Health Boards to determine where it puts its priorities. But because of Ms King's failure to, in Helen Clark's words, 'blitz' the waiting lists, she has provided orthopaedics, the longest speciality waiting list, with tagged funding - just in time for election year.

"With 113,000 people waiting for their first Specialist Assessment, and 62,000 on her main waiting list, Annette King has failed 175,000 New Zealanders. She must go," Mrs Roy said.


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