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Minister allows DHB to cut electives, forgets

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

25 July 2006

Minister allows DHB to cut elective services, then forgets

The Minister of Health has accepted a DHB cutting elective services in order to reduce costs, though he doesn’t appear to even know about it, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

In Parliament today, Health Minister Pete Hodgson denied that any DHB had indicated they would do less elective surgery.

“But the statement of intent of Hawke’s Bay DHB, which the Minister himself tabled last week, says exactly that,” says Mr Ryall.

The statement says:

‘Management will initiate the consultation process to identify $5.8m of further savings to be partially implemented during the 2006/7 year and fully implemented from 1 July 2007. Areas of focus will be:

- Reconfigure to the Crown Funding Agreement and the Service Coverage obligations.

- Reduce elective services.

- Consider other service cuts, including health centre reconfiguration.’

“The Health Minister must have agreed, because the statement was tabled. Yet this incompetent Minister seems to be unaware of what he is agreeing to.

“Elective surgery has become a major political issue for thousands of Kiwis. Yet Mr Hodgson is signing off on DHBs doing fewer operations when he says they are doing more.

“This Labour Government is damaging thousands of lives with its failure in elective surgery. It’s got working party after working party writing reports and recommendations, but no action is being taken. Patients would rather have an operation instead of another working party producing yet more huis and more reports.”


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