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Government ideology on health fails again

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Government ideology on health fails again

UnitedFuture MP Judy Turner has labelled the end of the St George's Hospital contract to perform elective caesarian procedures for the public health system a disaster that should have been prevented.

"The current public health system is failing to keep up with the demands being placed on it, particularly through elective procedures, and will continue to do so unless we are willing to make use of the spare capacity in the private surgical sector," said Mrs Turner.

"It is very disappointing that this Government has not been able to look past its rigid ideology and incentivise more public/private surgical integration."

"The unnecessary strain placed on Christchurch Women's Hospital to meet the requirements of 340 extra caesarian procedures previously done at St George's will not only place more pressure on staff, but will introduce a further element of uncertainty for expectant mothers."

UnitedFuture's policy is to require DHBs to contract out work to private hospitals, making use of spare capacity wherever it is available to reduce elective surgery waiting lists.

"It is our belief that no-one over 65 should wait more than 6 months for elective surgery."

"UnitedFuture also proposes a National Health Insurance scheme. The scheme could focus on elective surgery and access to high cost medicines while being taxpayer funded for target groups, such as those with the greatest health needs."

"To encourage greater participation, it may be a contributory scheme for wage and salary earners, with contributions offset against marginal tax rates," said Mrs Turner.

Ends

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