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Another committee, more bureaucrats

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

7 September 2006

Another committee, more bureaucrats

Today's 'Workforce Taskforce' announcement is simply an excuse to do nothing, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"After seven years and 40 reports, all Labour has offered is another committee and a new bunch of bureaucrats.

"The last thing needed to fix the health workforce crisis is another committee to avoid tackling the real issues.

"This morning Health Minister Pete Hodgson announced a new taskforce to replace the Health Workforce Advisory Committee, and a new Ministry of Health policy group 'to tie the strands together to identify gaps as they arise'.

"Not one of the unfortunate patients laying in pain, becoming known as Hodgson's culls, will be comforted by this committee at all.

"It will take years for anything to happen. The Government is not taking this issue seriously. We have huge shortages throughout the health service and it's time for action.

"The Government should be immediately lifting doctor training numbers to a self-sufficiency level, include stronger rural components in doctor training, and cut taxes to retain and reward our health workforce.

"Most importantly, New Zealand needs a government that will trust and empower our doctors and nurses. These are professional people who should be trusted and involved. Sadly, Mr Hodgson displays a disdain and disregard for these vital people."

ENDS

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