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PHO study shows no improvement in health

Paul Hutchison National Party Health Spokesman

30 May 2005

PHO study shows no improvement in health

National Party Health spokesman Paul Hutchison says Labour's PHO progress report is meaningless because it makes no mention of whether the PHO system has actually improved health outcomes for people.

His comments follow the release today of an evaluation into Labour's Primary Health Care Strategy, carried out by Victoria University's Health Services Research Centre.

The report finds that the public is generally happy with the PHO system, but it makes no mention of any associated health benefits.

"You could have all the studies in the world showing that people are comfortable with the system but what people really want to know is whether or not it is improving their health and wellbeing," says Dr Hutchison.

"Labour has poured millions into the vast and complex PHO bureaucracy and millions more into marketing it but no one seems able to point to a single health benefit."

Since Labour came into office in 1999, health spending has increased by $3.3 billion. Despite this, the number of operations performed dropped from 160,574 in 1999/00 to 157,754 in 2002/03.

Dr Hutchison says National will return the focus of the health system to patients rather than bureaucrats, and will focus on good management and efficiency.

ENDS

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