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Incompetent Minister ignores AG’s report

Incompetent Minister ignores AG’s report

Acting Health Minister Damien O’Connor admitted today that he hadn’t even bothered to read a critical report on health spending from the Auditor-General, despite answering questions on it in Parliament.

The report, released this week by the Auditor-General, shows why the Government can’t say whether extra health spending is achieving value for money, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

“The report on the $3 billion health funding package introduced in 2002 says it is not possible to say where the billions of extra dollars were ultimately spent.

“It reveals, with a few exceptions, that neither the Ministry of Health nor DHBs can show where the extra funding was specifically allocated.

“The Ministry of Health has no record of how DHBs allocated their extra funding, because it says that is the responsibility of the DHBs. But when the Auditor-General asked DHBs what the money was spent on, they too were unable to say where it was specifically allocated.

“Value for money is an important part of the health debate in New Zealand. Even the Treasury has said there is little noticeable gain from the extra money put into health.

“Taxpayers expect to know that they are getting improved health care for every extra dollar. Instead, as the Auditor-General’s report shows, the extra money is going into the pot without being specifically monitored.

“If you don’t know where the money is going, how can you say what you got for it?”


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