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Senior doctors say culling of patients 'dishonest'

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

27 July 2006

Senior doctors say culling of patients ‘dishonest’

Labour’s failing leadership of the health sector has been exposed again, this time with damning criticism from senior doctors at Christchurch Hospital, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

He is commenting on reports that 10 senior doctors at Christchurch Hospital have spoken out against Canterbury DHB’s plan to slash its waiting lists by a further 5,300 patients.

They say waiting list culls only hide the problem of needy patients missing out on treatment, and they have labelled the system ‘dishonest’.

“When senior doctors at the coalface speak out against the actions taken by DHBs as a result of threats by the Labour Government to cut costs or else, something is seriously wrong,” says Mr Ryall.

“Labour’s failure in the health sector has been exposed by specialists, doctors and patients alike.”

Earlier this year, senior medical specialists labelled the health system ‘rotten’, and called for new approaches to the pressing issues facing the health sector.

“Yet Health Minister Pete Hodgson has flailed around blaming the waiting-list crisis on everyone but the Government.

“The senior doctors should be taking their concerns not to the DHB but to the source of the problem – Pete Hodgson and his floundering government, who are hell-bent on shutting down bad publicity rather than doing anything to improve health services.

“National says we could get more elective services through smart use of the private sector, greater involvement of specialists in decision-making, cuts to bureaucracy, and moving resources into services through a greater focus on value for money.”


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