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Waiting lists grow despite billions in extra funds

Waiting lists grow despite billions in extra funding

Ministry of Health waiting list figures for March continue to show serious problems with Labour’s health bureaucracy, says National’s Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

“Despite $3.3 billion extra being put into health since 1999, and much more likely in the Budget, there continue to be problems under Labour with inefficiency, poor productivity and shambolic bureaucracy,” says Dr Hutchison.

“Patients given a commitment to treatment but not treated within 6 months grew from 6708 in October 2004 to 8005 in March 2005.

“Health Minister Annette King and her Government appear to have instructed the Ministry of Health to manipulate waiting lists.

“On April 1, 2000 patients were taken off the waiting list at Counties Manukau and sent back to a life of uncertainty. Later in April, 591 patients who had been waiting longer than 6 months for first specialist assessment were taken off the Tairawhiti waiting list.

“In October 2004 there were 23,129 patients waiting longer than 6 months for first specialist assessment. By March 2005 the number had risen to 25,960.

“These results show that Labour’s health system is failing and they are now resorting to deception to try and fool the public that the situation is not as bad as it is.

“The public should be reminded that the much trumpeted extra money for cataracts and orthopaedics would never have been necessary if Labour’s system had not become so inefficient.

“National is determined to bring good management, good incentives and efficiency into the health system by ensuring that funding is made available for services according to quality and price,” says Dr Hutchison.


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