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More reports and more committees

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

30 June 2006

More reports and more committees

Health Minister Pete Hodgson continues to offer more reports and more committees as solutions to the hospital waiting list crisis, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

He is commenting on Mr Hodgson's speech today promising yet more ‘major work to improve electives’.

Mr Hodgson has also released a working group report that recommends more committees and reprinting a brochure with a new logo as answers to the shortage of elective surgery in this country.

"This is typical Labour – more reports, more committees and a new brochure. No wonder Waitemata DHB boss Dwayne Crombie has quit his job because of ‘gobsmacking’ bureaucracy and red tape,” says Mr Ryall.

"Mr Hodgson offers yet another defensive speech more about reacting to the National Party than dealing with the problem.

"The waiting list crisis demands immediate action. National has been providing positive ideas for change for some time. Mr Hodgson's speech picks up on our policy of allowing GPs to refer patients directly for some hospital tests, but he completely ignores the smart use of the private sector in getting waiting lists down.

"Goodness knows how reprinting a Ministry of Health brochure with individual DHB logos will get more operations! It’s bizarre.

"This year tens of thousands of Kiwis are being culled from waiting lists – many of whom have been promised an operation. Mr Hodgson is happy to keep calling for reports while people suffer. He is not up to the job,” says Mr Ryall.

Answers to written questions show the number of elective surgery discharges since Labour's first Budget: 107,881 (2000/01), 106,663 (2001/02), 104,985 (2002/03), 106,186 (2003/04), 107,208 (2004/05). Case-weighted discharges (number of operations mathematically adjusted for complexity of procedure) over the same period have increased, showing that people have to be sicker to get an operation under Labour.

ENDS

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