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Labour's pledge: blatant window dressing

Paul Hutchison MP National Party Health Spokesman

16 August 2005

Labour's pledge: blatant window dressing

National Party Health spokesman Paul Hutchison says Labour's election pledge on health is nothing more than blatant window dressing - reannouncing funding that had already been committed.

Labour pledged today to fund 7,500 extra cataract operations and 10,000 extra joint procedures over the next three years, costing $200 million.

"In Budget 2004 and Budget 2005, Labour committed a total of $182.8 million for orthopaedics funding and cataract funding," says Dr Hutchison.

"Ms King and Ms Clark need to explain to voters why they are treating them like fools by pledging money they had already announced.

"While they're doing that, they should also explain why the additional $3.5 billion they have already put into the health sector in the past six years has not resulted in major increases in operations.

"Labour has increased New Zealand's health budget by more than 50% - from $6.1 billion to $9.7 billion in the six years to this current 2005/06 year. That funding has done nothing to improve the productivity of the health system.

"National is determined to tackle the key health issues of New Zealanders, issues that Labour has clearly failed to address in the past six years," says Dr Hutchison.


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