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Cunliffe should release both DHB reports

Tony Ryall MP National Party Health Spokesman

29 February 2008

Cunliffe should release both Hawke's Bay DHB reports

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says David Cunliffe must ask the Auditor-General to step in and investigate the alleged conflict of interest case at Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

"The process now looks so discredited, and is so compromised that Mr Cunliffe has no choice if he wants to preserve public confidence.

"Why is he gagging the media? Why is he hiding this report from the people of New Zealand? The public deserves to see what is going on and hear all sides of this story. He should also release both drafts of this controversial report."

National MPs holding a public meeting in Hawke's Bay this morning have also publicly called for the Auditor-General to step in and investigate the allegations, because the Ministry's report process is now so discredited.

The Auditor-General has previously said he was taking a 'watching brief' on the situation at Hawke's Bay DHB.

Mr Ryall says headlines in major newspapers throughout the country today paint a picture of a health system in crisis.

"Mr Cunliffe boasted in Parliament he was 'running the show now'. The Prime Minister said he would take health off the front pages.

"Today, three metropolitan newspapers carried a different health crisis story on their front page.

"Doctors complaining of 'unacceptable' conditions at Waitakere and North Shore, the nursing shortage in Christchurch and the Hawke's Bay debacle.

"That's what happens in a week under Mr Cunliffe's watch. Only last week it was the Wanganui scandal catalogue of preventable deaths and injuries in our hospitals.

"All this has happened despite Labour's extra $5 billion a year on health and the build-up of a bureaucrat army. So who did you say was 'running the show now', Mr Cunliffe?

"Many of the problems New Zealand is seeing can be sourced back to a huge workforce crunch, which Labour has known about for years but utterly failed to plan for."

National discusses a range of solutions to the workforce crisis in its discussion document Better, Sooner, More Convenient:

ENDS


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