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Labour's health policy - more of the same

Labour's health policy - more of the same

Heather Roy Thursday, 1 September 2005 Press Releases - Health

Labour's failure to commit to reducing the 180,692 patients on health waiting lists confirms their total failure in delivering on elective surgery ACT Health spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"Labour's supposed health policy released today is just a reannouncement of what they have already said and completely fails to provide a solution to reduce health waiting lists. All New Zealanders can expect from this health policy is more of the same.

"Official information reveals that there were 180,401 patients on First Specialist Assessment and surgical waiting lists when Labour was elected. Yet, despite throwing a record extra $3.6 billion into health each year, waiting lists have risen to 180,692.

"The number of operations is static with just a 1.3% increase in surgical case weighted discharges between 2000 and 2004, despite a 4.3% population increase.

"Health is Labour's greatest failure.

"Waiting lists are up.

"Operations per head of population are down and record spending has Treasury warning the rate of spending increases is unsustainable," Mrs Roy said.

"Bureaucracy spending has rocketed. Head office staffing has risen around 40%, and District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisation bureaucracies cost over $40 million a year.

"There is no evidence people are getting better access to doctors.

"The health sector has been split by Labour's politically motivated pay jolt that has alienated the staff in the primary sector.

"Labours 2005 health policy utterly fails to address the real health issues facing New Zealanders. It is the sort of policy you have when you cannot deliver on big picture health outcomes such as reducing waiting lists.

"ACT would:

- ring fence $250 million of health funding and require DHB's to utilise the private health sector to reduce waiting lists from 180,000 to 120,000 in three years.

- introduce tax assistance so people can better afford private health insurance.

"Labour has failed 180,000 patients on waiting lists," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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