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DHBs Play "Fall Guys" For Clark And Hodgson

DHBs Play "Fall Guys" For Clark And Hodgson

Heather Roy
Wednesday, 19 April 2006
Press Releases - Health

Labour's opposition to including the private sector in healthcare means that Helen Clark and Pete Hodgson have no one to blame for hospital waiting lists but themselves, says ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy.

"Healing our health system requires more from Helen Clark and her government than just shooting the messenger - blaming management is outrageous and despicable", Mrs Roy said.

"Labour must overcome their ideological opposition to involving the private sector in healthcare and be honest with the public about how many people are waiting for treatment.

"Any government serious health has to accept that both private and public health providers have a role to play.

"District Health Boards are required to file a detailed District Annual Plan, signed off by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health is told each year how many operations can be expected, and what the DHBs' priorities are.

"Now the Minister wants DHBs to play the fall guys for his own failing policies.

"The Minister has tried to keep the numbers of people waiting - and those who die from waiting - a secret. The real figures of people waiting may never be known.

"Claiming 'incomplete data' may suit Labour politically, but massaging the figures and amputating the waiting lists sells out the tens of thousands of Kiwis waiting for treatment.

"Labour's $4 billion in extra funding has all been tagged - but not for elective surgery. An injection has been allocated to primary care, but DHBs also need to cover government-imposed costs such as the Holidays Act and sanctioning of large salary increases.

"Soon the progressive withdrawal of asset testing will be an added burden for DHBs, and further industrial unrest among hospital staff isn't far away.

"Healthcare should be available for everyone, easy to access and affordable. DHBs should be able to buy the best quality health services, in the best time, at the best cost - from public or private healthcare providers.

"Labour's crisis is the equivalent of Hamilton's entire population waiting for treatment. Never before in New Zealand's hospitals have so many waited so long, for so little", Mrs Roy said.


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