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King denies poor Health Ministry reports

Paul Hutchison MP National Party Health Spokesman

9 June 2005

King denies poor Health Ministry reports

Minister of Health Annette King has denied a Hospital Benchmark report which shows 14 out of 21 DHBs failed to attend serious conditions such as heart attacks, massive bleeding and concussion within target timeframes, says National Party Health spokesman Paul Hutchison.

Ms King told Parliament yesterday "any patients who present with those conditions should be seen within that time, and I believe they are".

Dr Hutchison says it is a huge worry when the Minister of Health denies her own Ministry's quarterly reports, which have shown that DHBs have been failing to meet target triage times for more than three years, despite billions in extra funding going into health.

"Ms King appears to be in denial over serious productivity issues with the 21 DHBs, despite repeated warnings from Treasury," says Dr Hutchison.

"Labour has gone to huge lengths to make waiting lists look better by literally culling thousands of people off them.

"This latest denial is particularly important as the whole idea of the Hospital Benchmark report is to highlight health performance, good or bad.

"It is shocking that a Minister of Health overtly denies serious failings within the system - she should be working day and night to put the situation right.

"Instead, Labour is weaving a web of confusion and denial," says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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