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PHO collapse wastes scarce health dollars

Paul Hutchison - National Party Health Spokesman

10 February 2005

PHO collapse wastes scarce health dollars

Labour has done nothing to improve accountability of health spending in primary health organisations following the collapse of a Rotorua PHO, says National's Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

Te Kupenga a Kahu PHO was forced to close after it could not pay back $102,000 earmarked for 'services to improve health access', which was instead used for operating costs.

"Once a 'service to improve access' arrangement is made, large amounts of money are going into the coffers of the PHO," says Dr Hutchison.

"It was this money that Te Kupenga a Kahu siphoned off. This lack of accountability is a disgrace."

"Labour is investing huge amounts of money into PHOs, but they have not put in place appropriate systems of accountability, particularly for assisting and monitoring small PHOs."

"It is very easy for Annette King to say the outstanding debt will be paid back, but the system that allows such a lack of accountability in the first place is fundamentally flawed.

"Labour has poured more than $3 billion in extra funding into health since 1999. If New Zealand is to afford good health services, every dollar must be spent well. Labour has increased bureaucracy and loosened financial disciplines.

ENDS


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