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Health Charity Begins At Home

Media Release

17 July 2006

Health Charity Begins At Home

New Zealand taxpayers should not be footing the bill for foreigners who cannot afford to pay for their medical treatment says New Zealand First’s health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“The Immigration Minister is quoted as saying that his officials weigh up the costs of accepting migrants with medical conditions against the contribution they would make by living here but it appears that they are making calls that they are totally unqualified to make.

“Medical waivers should not be granted, against medical advice, to people who are likely to cost the public health system anything at all, said Mrs Stewart.

“It beggars belief that overstayers and new residents have been treated for lung cancer, leukaemia and HIV and other serious conditions when our health system is already struggling to meet the needs of the resident population.

“Immigration policy which assesses what is in the best interests of New Zealanders should mean that anyone who will be a drain on the health system is simply not allowed into the country.

“The Ministers of Health and Immigration need to get their act together before more New Zealanders are unfairly disadvantaged,” said Mrs Stewart.


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