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Dysfunctional Health Ministry loses control

Dr Paul Hutchison National Party Disability Issues Spokesman

24 May 2006

Dysfunctional Health Ministry loses control of finances

The Ministry of Health has again lost control of its finances, this time concerning claims about disability service provider Deals, says National's Disability Issues spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison.

"Health Minister Pete Hodgson has repeatedly said an inquiry into disability services is not needed," says Dr Hutchison.

"But he is isolated and out of touch with the disability sector, as well as with his own colleagues, who voted in support of an inquiry in select committee last week.

"There continue to be widespread concerns about service provision within the disability services sector, not to mention serious questions about the auditing processes of the Ministry of Health, which has paid millions of dollars to providers for no services.

"And it is not only the fiscal auditing methods that are in question - the sector remains deeply concerned about the Ministry's failure to monitor individual quality of life.

"How can the public have confidence in the Ministry of Health or the Minister when earlier this year another provider, Focus 2000, was found to have been overpaid to the tune of $2.5 million?

"How many other providers who get funding from the Ministry are not being audited properly?"

ENDS

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