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So who is running the show?

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman
29 August 2008

So who is running the show?

Headlines throughout the country today show that the public health system is lurching from crisis to crisis, while the government is nowhere to be seen, says National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall

“Our health system needs new leadership that is focused on what matters, not the spiralling political problems of a desperate Labour government.”

Mr Ryall says the reports today show that despite spending an extra $6 billion on health, the public health system is mired in endless problems.

• At Christchurch Hospital, patients are waiting in corridors in the emergency department despite promises that a major upgrade would fix this. One of the main reasons patients were being cared for in corridors was because overcrowding meant there were no beds for them to be transferred to within the hospital.

• In Wellington, up to 50 cardiac patients will be flown to Australia for treatment because the waiting lists are becoming dangerously long. Labour’s prohibition on smart contracting with private hospitals has left the district health board with no other option.

• In Dunedin, a new wave of the contagious norovirus has hit the wards, meaning more than 200 staff and patients have fallen ill. Still the Government refuses to have an independent inquiry to see what could have been done to avoid the worst outbreak in living memory.

• In New Plymouth, a budget blowout means the cut-back scalpel is poised over waiting list surgery, ACC surgery, staff numbers and the use of diagnostic radiology, such as CT scans.

• And in the latest news, senior doctors at Rotorua's embattled hospital are on the verge of quitting as workload pressures mount and staff morale plummets. The emergency department has been in gridlock for weeks. The use of misleading staffing data by the Board chairman has further antagonised senior doctors.

Mr Ryall says across the country, the hospital arms of DHBs are $160 million in the red.

“David Cunliffe prides himself on running the show. Well, where is he now when it really matters?”


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