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Patients wait in storage rooms despite spending

Paul Hutchison MP National Party Health Spokesman

14 June 2005

Patients wait in storage rooms despite huge spending

Patients are spilling out of hospital corridors despite Labour's massive $3.5 billion increase in health spending and substantial restructuring, says National Party Health spokesman Paul Hutchison.

"During the 1990s Helen Clark led a shrill cacophony of complaint that the situation was bad, but after six years of Labour, polls have shown that 73.8% of people believe things are the same or worse in our hospitals," says Dr Hutchison.

"We had alarming reports in our papers of patients spilling into corridors, into armchairs, and almost having to go on to couches in seminar rooms because this Government has not funded our hospitals for the seasonal winter surge in admissions." - Helen Clark, Hansard, 26 June, 1996

"This is disgraceful for a public health system in the middle of winter." - Helen Clark, Hansard, 26 June, 1996

"...The problem is underfunding and poor planning. We know that winter brings an increase in health problems. It happens every year - some years earlier in the season, some years later in the season. But our hospitals must be ready to cope with the problems. It just isn't good enough to have basic services break down as they have in the last week," - Helen Clark (June 1996) Speech to Greypower National Annual General Meeting.

Dr Hutchison says despite the huge increase in health spending, Labour's own rhetoric has come back to haunt it.

"Labour must look back on its own tough talking and admit that it has failed miserably.

"Its atrocious record in health shows unprecedented spending, massive bureaucracy, poor productivity, and now patients literally spilling out of hospitals that have no room for them, like Wellington's emergency department," says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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