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Health Minister Accountable? - Not Likely

18 March 2005

Health Minister Accountable? - Not Likely

The Minister of Health’s expressions of gratitude to GlaxoSmithKline, Pharmac and the Ministry of Health for their “… cooperative approach at a crucial and difficult time …” are somewhat ironic considering that the organisations concerned were simply doing their jobs, says New Zealand First Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“Rather than a wonderful example of the health sector working together, the co-operative approach is exactly what should be expected of professionals doing what they are paid for.

“The Minister is once again attempting to dodge any flak coming her way from opposition parties and concerned members of the public,” said Mrs Stewart.

“Questions about who should ultimately accept responsibility for this debacle have been airily dismissed as attempts to make political capital rather than legitimate concerns about ministerial competence.

“The Minister is a master at evading accountability and this is another attempt to do just that. The question we should now be asking is: what assurances do we have that the Minister, and the Government, would be able to manage an outbreak of something more serious such as bird flu?,” said Mrs Stewart.


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