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Waiting List Fiddling Unacceptable

13 April 2006

Waiting List Fiddling Unacceptable

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s move to reduce specialist waiting lists by referring patients back to their doctors is another example of the precarious state of the health system, says New Zealand First Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“Waiting lists should be shortened as a result of patients being given operations and treatment rather than just being shuttled back to their GPs.

“The ‘clerical’ rather than ‘clinical’ removal of patients from waiting lists demonstrates that the public health system is not working for those who rely on it, said Mrs Stewart.

“The focus should be on the short sighted view that treatment can be delayed when in many cases it cannot. This is an urgent issue for thousands of New Zealanders.

“The Hutt Valley DHB is considering funding private treatment for people on waiting lists. The Minister must now consider whether greater co-operation between the public and private sectors is the obvious way to solve this rapidly growing problem,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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