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Patients suffer at hands of squabbling bureaucrats

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

21 June 2006

Patients suffer at hands of squabbling bureaucrats

Patients are missing out on a vital cancer service while health bureaucrats continue to squabble, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"Here is yet more waste and mismanagement under Labour."

Mr Ryall is commenting on reports that two weeks out from the promised start date for an upgraded cancer service at Wellington Hospital, a much-needed high-dose brachytherapy machine hasn't even been ordered.

The hospital has been without the service since September last year, and isn't likely to see the new machine until at least the end of this year.

"Patients are suffering because squabbling health bureaucrats simply cannot get their act together," says Mr Ryall.

"One specialist has said that the delays are jeopardising the whole service.

"Millions upon millions in extra funding has gone into an expanding health bureaucracy, and look at the result - patients having to travel to other cities for treatment, or simply being left in limbo.

"Even now, a decision on how the machine will be funded is apparently weeks away.

"What is needed is leadership from the top down. DHBs must be able to work together constructively on regional health issues. It happens on a haphazard basis around the country, but that's not good enough."

"Health Minister Pete Hodgson should step in and knock a few heads together.

"They should have learnt from the staff recruitment programme, where every DHB was doing its own thing competing for staff and wasting valuable health dollars.

"Labour's DHBs revel in an uncoordinated and fragmented approach that is wasting millions of health dollars and leaving patients out in the cold," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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