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Health System Now A National Lottery

4 May 2005

Health System Now A National Lottery

The lottery approach to health care obviously finds favour with the Minister given her enthusiastic announcement yesterday of $17 million over the next three years for more cataract operations, says New Zealand First’s health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.

“However despite the Minister’s glee the practice of selecting an ailment and then providing a one off funding boost to reduce patient numbers is not an acceptable alternative to a properly run health system in which operations are performed as and when they are needed.

“It is also a happy coincidence in election year that the operations so far funded by the Government, for orthopaedic problems and cataracts, are those with significant impact on the elderly,” said Mrs Stewart.

“It appears that not only is it wise to pick your DHB before getting sick as treatment for many conditions varies widely depending on where you live, but also to pick your ailment.

“If there are enough people with the same complaint to force political action your chances of prompt, adequate treatment are obviously much improved,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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