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Turner releases UF health policy

Media statement
Embargoed to 10am
Friday, 2 May 2008

Turner releases UF health policy

UnitedFuture deputy leader Judy Turner says there are glaring deficiencies in the New Zealand health system that need urgent fixing up – and UnitedFuture’s health policy will do just that.

“For example:

* the cost of healthcare continues to rise at twice the rate of inflation, but we have a growing ageing population with greater health needs and a declining number of tax payers.

* we pay for primary healthcare but subsidise, or make secondary care free - the only OECD nation to do so.

* we have long waiting lists for elective surgery, but there is spare capacity in the private health system.

“This is plain nuts,” says Mrs Turner.

“Our health policy is based on the principles that prevention is better than cure and people have to take individual responsibility for their healthcare.

“It’s difficult to overstate the flood of problems that confront the New Zealand health sector.

“New Zealand has obesity and diabetic epidemics, the full force of which are yet to hit home.

“Thirty percent of deaths are diet related. Six percent die from lack of fruit and vegetables – 3 times the road toll.

“Alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse are significant contributors to poor health outcomes in New Zealand and we have high incidence of sexually transmitted infections.

“The need for an effective, efficient healthcare system is as great, if not greater, than it has ever been.

“UnitedFuture has a well-thought out, sensible plan to meet the challenges that face our health sector and we look forward to the opportunity to put it into practice,” said Mrs Turner.


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