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Health Minister steals Nats' proposals

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman

7 April 2008

Health Minister steals Nats' proposals

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says David Cunliffe has opened himself up to accusations of political theft, after blatantly copying parts of National's Health Discussion Document and claiming them as his own.

"David Cunliffe and Labour have finally admitted Labour's policies have failed. After eight years of building an army of bureaucrats and sidelining doctors and nurses, Labour now wants us to believe that they can change their spots."

Mr Ryall is referring to a weekend interview, in which David Cunliffe made statements including: * 'We need to support clinicians to have a greater stake in the way the hospitals are run and managed'. 'Increasingly we're going to need to build clinical networks, regional shared services and to ensure that DHBs are cooperating with other so that they can manage across the specialties'. 'There are opportunities to encourage shared services between DHBs'.

"If this sounds familiar, it's because it's all in the National Party Health Discussion Document we released last year, and in several earlier speeches on these matters," says Mr Ryall.

"We have listened to wise advice from health professionals and patients across the country."

National's document (released on September 26, 2007) proposed:

* A new partnership with the health professions. Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals should be more involved in the planning and operation of the public health system.

* Clinical networks. Clinical Networks should be established across regions to assist in planning, delivery, and evaluating services.

* More effective spending and planning. It is inefficient and inhibiting to have 21 DHBs that duplicate planning, monitoring, and funding functions. The funding arms of DHBs should co-operate as shared-service networks across their regions.

"This is concrete proof that when it comes to the future in health, National is the political party committed to working with health professionals to improve quality and service.

"Mr Cunliffe's complete turnaround should be seen for what it is - a cynical attempt to hide Labour's failing health system."


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