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Labour out of touch over health

Labour out of touch over health

Heather Roy Monday,

30 May 2005 Press Releases - Health

Health Minister Annette King’s declaration that health will not be an election issue shows how out of touch she is with her health portfolio and with the people of New Zealand, ACT health spokesman heather Roy said today.

“The latest Herald DigiPoll shows health is the issue of greatest concern to voters - 18.8% of those polled put it at the top of their list, while 12.2% of those polled in the National Business Review Phillips Fox poll said health was the most important problem facing New Zealand today? 12.2% of respondents said it was their number one issue.

“The facts tell an astonishing story of failure.

“Between 1999/2000 and 2005/2006, under Labour, core health spending has exploded by $3.5 billion; from $6.1 billion to $9.6 billion a year in just 6 years,” Mrs Roy said.

“No Department or area of spending has had such a spending surge in New Zealand’s history. Yet despite this, the facts also show an unbelievable failure to improve services.

“The following facts are based on the labour Government’s own information and reveal that despite throwing money with complete abandon at the system:

- Hospital deficits are now forecast to rise to $100m a year.

- Waiting lists numbers are huge and growing. At the end of March there were 120,000 waiting for First Specialist Assessments, and another 62,000 were waiting for operations- a total 180,000 and largely unchanged since Labour described such numbers as “criminal before the 1999 election.

- Operations are static. In 2000/2001, Total Surgical Case Weighted Discharges were 269,252 - while in 2003/2004 these were 272,881.

“Labour is so ideologically opposed to harnessing the private health sector to reduce waiting lists, its only answer is to literally throw millions more into the public system for little gain.

“Few voters believe things have improved. Waiting lists continue to grow, the number of operations performed per head of population has dropped and it is becoming increasingly obvious to everyone except Annette King and the Labour government that what is happening is not working.

"Labour has obviously given up on health - they say it is not an election issue and that they have done a great job by increasing spending by over $3 million each year. Performance measures and outcomes do not feature in their calculations. ACT is the only party prepared to look at health options that work," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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