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Prime Minister in denial on ED crisis

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman

8 September 2008

Prime Minister in denial on ED crisis

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says the Prime Minister is in total denial about the crisis in our hospital emergency departments.

“Perhaps the Prime Minister has stopped reading the newspaper. Month after month serious warnings have been sounded. Doctors and nurses report patients languishing on trolleys in corridors unable to get a bed. Occasionally they are wrongly sent home by overstressed staff.

“Like her Health Minister, the Prime Minister has her head in the sand. Denial doesn’t help fix the problems.”

Mr Ryall is commenting after a report indicated that hundreds of people were dying because of overstretched hospital emergency departments.

“Just last week, Waikato Hospital was in ‘code red’. In June, the Auckland city ED was in ‘code purple’. And a few days ago, National revealed average waiting times at the Wellington Hospital emergency department had leapt in some months by 137%.

“There have been photos on the front pages of the papers of patients lying in corridors. Yet the blinkered Prime Minister says there’s no proof of any problem.”

Mr Ryall notes that Helen Clark once promised the people that there’d be a hospital bed for every patient for as long as they needed it, and gridlock because of winter illnesses would never happen under Labour

“Helen Clark does not talk about that any more. She has a selective memory about her broken promises.”

Mr Ryall says National has a plan to improve hospital and health services for New Zealanders.

“Kiwis want more doctors and nurses, and fewer bureaucrats.

“National is determined to deliver Better, Sooner, More Convenient healthcare to New Zealanders.”


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