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Turner: Contestable funding key to more heart ops

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Turner: Contestable funding key to more heart ops

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner today said the answer to surgery waiting lists for heart and other operations lay in contestable funding where DHBs and private hospitals would vie for funding to get surgery done.

"It's about getting passed private and public ideology and looking at the health system holistically and utilising all the facilities and medical expertise available, whether public or private.

"That's how we will start to get people the operations they need rather than have the disgraceful headlines we have today where people basically need to be at death's door before they will get heart surgery," Mrs Turner, who is also United Future's health spokeswoman, said.

"The key ingredient of United Future's health plan for surgery is very simple: private hospitals with unused capacity would be contracted by the public sector to perform surgery.

"There is no excuse for not doing this unless Labour prefers the option of ideologically pure, but dead, patients," Mrs Turner said.


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