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Labour's waiting list cull out of control

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

5 September 2006

Labour's waiting list cull out of control

National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall, says the Labour Government's directive to DHBs to cull their waiting lists means it is even harder for patients to get into hospital.

He is commenting as Waitemata DHB prepares to cull 800 patients from its waiting lists by the end of the month.

A report from Waitemata DHB says that as a result of the waiting list culls, 'some patients previously given certainty of treatment may now be declined treatment'.

It also says that: 'From now on primary care will also notice tighter acceptance thresholds in some services'.

"Around the country, thousands of patients have been sent back to their GPs with no idea of when, or if, they will ever get their operations," says Mr Ryall.

"The Government has threatened financial penalties for DHBs that don't wipe their waiting lists.

"This waiting list cull is now out of control.

"Doctors and specialists have said their patients need hospital care, but they are being culled by Government edict anyway.

"And that's going to affect more and more New Zealanders.

"The harsh reality is that Labour's waiting list cull is forcing even more patients into paying for their own operations.

"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."

ENDS

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