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Patients watch strike with chilling fear

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

11 September 2006

Patients watch strike with chilling fear

Thousands of New Zealanders will be watching the radiographers’ strike with a chilling fear that it will push them onto the list of Hodgson's culls, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"The Government has admitted that up to 27,000 patients have been culled from waiting lists this year – this strike will add thousands more.”

Mr Ryall is commenting as seven DHBs prepare for the radiographers’ strike, beginning at 7am tomorrow, which will paralyse hospitals and affect thousands of patients.

“Elective surgery has been cancelled and hospitals warn of major delays in their emergency departments. Thousands of patients will suffer.

“Put this on top of the waiting list cull and it will become even more difficult for sick people to get care.

"The Prime Minister has to realise that the health system in many parts of provincial New Zealand is today on the verge of chaos. Hospital services will only be available to those who are the most sick.

“Just because this strike isn't affecting Auckland is no reason for Clark and Hodgson to ignore the impact. If the strike was affecting vote-rich Auckland, I bet you would see a different response from the Government.

"The effects of the strike will go way beyond the next three days as more strike action is planned. Hospitals will not be able to plan their surgery lists.”

Hospitals in seven DHBs will be affected by the strike – Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Hutt Valley, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.


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