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Labour wastes millions on health bureaucracy

Labour wastes millions on health bureaucracy

Thursday 17 Mar 2005

Heather Roy - Press Releases - Health

Labour's new Primary Health Organisations will cost taxpayers $26.8 million in management fees this year, ACT Health spokesman Heather Roy revealed today.

Mrs Roy was responding to answers to parliamentary questions from Health minister Annette King which show taxpayers forked out $16.6 million in management fees for PHOs in the 2003/2004 financial year.

Ms King estimated the cost of running PHOs for the year ending June 2005 will be $26.8 million, a $10 million increase.

PHOs are Labour's new organisations for doctors to deliver health services.

"These costs come hot on the heels of a new report that seriously criticises PHOs as deficient in performance monitoring, reporting requirements and business planning," Mrs Roy said.

"It is now clear they come at a huge extra cost to taxpayers are in addition to PHO establishment fees. This money could have provided about 2000 badly needed hip operations, but has instead gone into Labour's additional layers of bureaucracy.

"For over three years we have put up with Annette King's bluff and bluster about her PHOs and all the extra money she claims to have put into health. The truth is when the bluff and bluster is put aside, there have been no more elective operations and much of the "extra money" is going into new bureaucracy structures."

Mrs Roy said this week Annette King had been forced to release a damning report on PHOs, after six months of trying to hide it.

"Within days it has now been revealed that these PHOs cost almost $27 million in management fees each year," Mrs Roy said. "Labour's PHO strategy is failing and they and the minister should go."

ENDS

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