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Labour loses Control of Health

Labour loses Control of Health

Heather Roy Wednesday, 25 May 2005 Press Releases - Health

Despite the record election year spend-up of an additional $1 billion into health next year, the Minister of Finance has revealed that District Health Board deficits are forecast to escalate to $100 million a year, ACT Health spokesman Heather Roy said today.

“The complete failure of Annette King to deliver extra health services, despite spending over $3 billion a year more than when Labour was elected, is a devastating indictment on this Labour Government.

“Nowhere is their failure clearer than in relation to operations,” Mrs Roy said.

“The health minister’s own answers show that in 2000/2001 there were 269,252 Surgical Case Weighted Discharges and in 2003/2004 there was minimal change with 272,881 discharges. Yet when population growth is taken into account there were fewer discharges - In 2000/01 there were 0.069 discharges per head and by 2003/04 this had dropped to 0.067 discharges per head.

“Despite an increase of $1.5 billion in Health spending in those three years, there was only a 1.3% change in surgical discharges and this ignores population growth in this time,” Mrs Roy said.

“The near total failure of Labour’s health spending to improve health services was highlighted in Treasury’s criticism of the major drop in hospital productivity in the last few years and Dr Cullen’s public concern over lack of value.

“Now, having promised to eliminate DHB deficits two years ago and despite dumping the most money into any area of government spending in New Zealand’s history, Annette King has to admit that DHB deficits are growing from $70 million this year to $100m next year”.

“Labour’s own statistics show waiting lists are growing, debt is growing, and operations are static.

“Labour has simply lost control of health spending, setting it up for crisis in the near future.

‘The only answer is to pull down the barriers between the public and private health sectors for the good of the 170,000 people on all our waiting lists,” Mrs Roy said.

ENDS


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