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No Apology Necessary, Mr Cunliffe

No Apology Necessary, Mr Cunliffe

It is very ironic that Health Minister David Cunliffe has today launched a review into the problems with cardiothoracic services at Capital & Coast DHB, following patient deaths in Hawkes Bay brought to light by me at the beginning of December, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"At the time, Mr Cunliffe essentially accused me of lying - saying my comments were 'nothing more than a cynical show put on for the media'. Now, nearly two months later, he has suddenly decided this is a serious issue of public concern that must be dealt with as soon as possible," Mrs Roy said.

"Mr Cunliffe has said in his release today that there is a concern that these deaths may have been preventable - the very issue that I raised last year, and for which he launched a vicious personal attack on me.

"As the tertiary provider to the central region for cardiothoracic surgery, it is CCDHB's responsibility to provide a timely and efficient service. Unfortunately, this does not seem to have been the case with some patients having to be cared for by their home DHB when their clinicians have referred them for, in many cases, urgent surgery.

"Rather than shooting the messenger in December, when I raised this issue, the Minister should have instigated an inquiry immediately. Instead, he took the option of taking cheap political pot shots ahead of ensuring patient safety.

"I welcome the review announced today - and will forego the apology that Mr Cunliffe owes me in the interests of a speedy review and resolution of the lack of access for those requiring prompt health services," Mrs Roy said.


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