Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Nats want to dismantle health sector by stealth

11 August 2005

Nats want to dismantle health sector by stealth, says King

Health Minister Annette King says a National government could introduce user-charges in hospitals, as well as increasing the costs of doctors visits and prescriptions for most New Zealanders.

She warned New Zealanders to beware of the hidden messages in National leader Don Brash's policy speech on health last night.

The speech, in which he made a feeble commitment to keeping the PHOs he said he would scrap last year, was big on generalities but short on specifics, she said.

"He needs to come clean on the hidden messages; if he intends scrapping funding for universal access to primary health care, then presumably he also intends to restore National's policy of the 90s, of charging for hospital visits.

"There is no logic otherwise. You can't abolish universal funding for primary health care and yet retain it in hospitals. If Don Brash thinks it is wrong that someone on his income gets a subsidy for primary health care, then it is equally wrong for him to be able to get free hospital treatment."

Annette King says National must also come clean on where the threshold will be for eligibility for a community services card.

"Will it be earnings of $20,000 a year, or $30,000, or $40,000? How much will the bureaucracy cost to administer a system with variable thresholds? Is it fair that someone earning $40,000 a year should have to pay the same to see a doctor as someone like Don Brash, who earns $200,000 a year? That's why Labour believes in universal provision. There should not be any arbitrary earnings barrier to anyone getting health care when they need it.

"National clearly has a hidden health agenda in everything it is saying. That agenda is a plan for private health insurance. Universal provision would end under National, probably from July next year, because Don Brash has not committed to extending the four year health funding path beyond then," she said.

"Don Brash must think New Zealanders are incredibly naive if he believes they won't see through his plan to have a full review of the health sector. When something is working well, as the health sector is, you don't review it. You only review something when you want to cut health services.

Don Brash gave the clearest sign yet last night that National's intention would be to cut public health services drastically, in its first term of office, if it was ever elected."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news