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Ryall not distracted by draft health policy releas

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman

10 September 2008

Ryall not distracted by draft health policy release

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall is welcoming the opportunity to talk about healthcare in New Zealand, as presented by Labour and its stage-managed drip-feed of draft National Party policies.

"Labour has been quietly adopting proposals from National's Health Discussion Document all year, and I fully expect they'll be pinching more from us before election day."

Mr Ryall says the draft health policy released by Labour today is a draft, and the policy has been developing and evolving over a long period of time.

"We will stick to our timeline. I'm delighted that Labour is talking about health policy, and I'm delighted the policy they want to talk about is ours. It's a shame David Cunliffe doesn't spend any time on developing policy of his own, and then we can have a real debate"

Mr Ryall says National will be releasing its final healthcare policies on its own terms, and there are likely to be changes to the draft documents released today. There are a number of policy initiatives not covered by these papers.

"Anyone who's followed the development of our health policies will know how much work has gone into them. We have produced a comprehensive discussion document, received hundreds of submissions, and I've been speaking extensively about the direction of healthcare under National."

Mr Ryall notes that since the beginning of the year the Health Minister has moved to adopt at least nine National proposals, including:

* Proposals for integrated health centres.
* More frontline involvement in the running of our hospitals.
* A pledge to reprioritise the army of bureaucrats.
* Voluntary bonding through student loans write-offs.
* Better co-operation between district health boards.
* Clinical networks to improve services particularly in provincial areas. * Greater use of the independent sector.
* Spot audits and public disclosure of audit reports on rest homes.

"And just today, the Health Minister quietly adopted National's proposal for the reinstatement of enrolled nurses."

ENDS


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