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Hodgson must explain

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

12 April 2006

Hodgson must explain

Health Minister Pete Hodgson must explain why Hawke's Bay District Health Board has been forced to dump 1,800 patients off its waiting lists to see a specialist, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

The DHB's board members today voted in favour of a proposal that will result in around 1,800 people being told they won't see a specialist doctor at a Hawke's Bay DHB facility.

"Mr Hodgson must explain why this has happened. He needs to explain why the DHB was told to do this in the Government's recent letter to a number of DHBs around the country."

Mr Ryall says the Government has written to key DHBs berating their growing waiting lists and threatening to institute 'intensive monitoring' regimes.

It was sent to Hawke's Bay DHB, along with Auckland, Waitemata, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, MidCentral, Capital and Coast, and Canterbury DHBs.

"Patients in those other communities will be wondering who is next in the line-up to be culled.

"We understand other DHBs are preparing to respond to Mr Hodgson's demands in a similar way to Hawke's Bay.

"This shows how dishonest Labour is in claiming it is reducing waiting lists," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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