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Senior doctors lose all confidence in Labour

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

1 September 2006

Senior doctors lose all confidence in Labour

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says Labour’s failing leadership of the health sector has been exposed again, this time with what amounts to a vote of no confidence by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists.

ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell has labelled the Labour Government indifferent towards patients being denied access to first specialist assessments and public hospital treatments.

He says: ‘Instead of trying to address this unmet need the government appears more preoccupied with data cleansing.’

Mr Ryall says Health Minister Pete Hodgson has consistently blamed the waiting list crisis on everyone but his own Government.

“He has called surgeons ‘unethical’ and blamed health managers who are working under his direct instruction to cull patients off waiting lists.

“This arrogant and tired Government needs to start listening to the chorus of distrust and alarm within the health sector.

”Pete Hodgson simply cannot just brush off the concerns of senior doctors who say he is ‘denying the existence of serious medical workforce shortages despite the evidence to the contrary’.

“Labour’s over-riding obsession has been to shut down bad publicity rather than improve the delivery of health services to Kiwis. Health professionals are increasingly realising this.

“Instead of issuing instructions to stop patients reaching hospitals, the Government should focus on value for money, cutting the bureaucracy, involving and trusting the health workforce, and smart use of the private sector,” says Mr Ryall.


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