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King in serious denial over health

Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Health Spokesman
26 August 2005


King in serious denial over health

National’s Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison, says Health Minister Annette King has presided over one of the greatest deceptions in the history of public health in New Zealand and continues to deny the wastage, inefficiency and bureaucracy she has created.

“National will fix the mess Labour has left behind and ensure that health funding goes to where it is most needed,” says Dr Hutchison.

“A New Zealand Herald poll earlier in the year showed that 73% of people thought health was worse or no better since 1999. They were right.

“Ms King promised in the 1990s she would ‘fix the bureaucracy’ and ‘blitz the waiting lists’. Against her affirmations that Ministry of Health pen-pushers would decrease by 25%, they have actually increased by 25% under Labour.

“The way she ‘blitzed’ waiting lists was by culling 25,000 people off them in 2003, sending them back to their GPs and creating a waiting list to get onto a waiting list. On 1 April this year, 2000 people, many going blind, were sent back to their GPs in Counties Manukau.

“Ms King also promised that no DHBs would be running deficits. Auckland DHB has just posted an underlying deficit of $100 million.

“Ms King’s government has thrown $3.5 billion more into health with little to show. This is backed by the OECD and Treasury. Simple procedures like hernias, haemorrhoids, gall bladders and varicose veins are not being carried out in public hospitals any longer unless they are very severe. Dental decay and childhood obesity are just getting worse.

“What is abundantly clear is that Ms King is in total denial over the extent of her massive failure as Health Minister.

“National will restore efficiency and good management to the health system, putting health dollars into patients, not pen-pushers,” says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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