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National knocks its own idea on the head

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

25 June 2008 Media Statement

National knocks its own idea on the head

Flip-flops are now becoming the trademark of the National Party says Minister of Health David Cunliffe.

Friday’s admission from Tony Ryall at medical conference in Rotorua that it was scrapping plans that would have allowed GP fees to sky-rocket is hardly a shock given their track record, Mr Cunliffe said.

The have flip-flopped on student loans, paid-parental leave and now GP fees.

“Their let’s see what editorials in the media say before deciding whether or not to stick to a policy is becoming tiresome.”

Mr Cunliffe said Tony Ryall claimed just last year ago that “I don’t think New Zealanders have this (GP fees) as their top of mind issue in health.”

“Friday’s back down is a clear admission that he was out of touch when he made this statement: “What patients will want to know is that the fees they pay will not rise unchecked for the reason we will maintain the GP fee review process.”

“However the National Party is still out of touch if they think New Zealanders are gullible enough to believe this latest in a long line flip-flops is genuine.”

Mr Cunliffe appeared at the Health Select Committee today and talked about how successful the Primary Health Care Strategy had been at improving New Zealanders access to GPs and prescription medicines.

“In essence under this government, more people are getting treatment, more medical professionals have been employed, more people are seeing their GP and more hospitals are being built.”

Mr Cunliffe said the Government had invested heavily in health to ensure New Zealanders had affordable, accessible and equitable access to services.

“National’s record on health is disastrous and is one of the key reason’s they have been in opposition for the last nine years.”


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