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Health Budget Provides No Solutions

20 May 2005

Health Budget Provides No Solutions

Increases in the health budget should not be seen as providing solutions to any health problems and barely allow the sector to tread water, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“People on waiting lists can take no comfort from the increase in funding. They will go on waiting until there is sufficient bad publicity for their ailment to be considered for one off funding.

“Honouring the nurses’ payment settlement will take $549.5 million. This will bring the nurses’ pay up to a reasonable standard, but does nothing to address the problems of staff retention and work force planning for the future, said Mrs Stewart.

“The funds allocated to rest homes are only enough to maintain the status quo and it is unlikely that any will filter down to caregivers for the elderly, who are chronically underpaid.

“The expenditure flagged in yesterday’s budget will do absolutely nothing to reverse the trend of a growing health bureaucracy and an under performing public health system. Throwing money at this particular problem will not make it disappear,” said Mrs Stewart.


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