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Labour is still in health workforce crisis denial

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman

19 September 2008

Labour is still in health workforce crisis denial

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says New Zealanders will be disappointed that Labour’s response to National’s practical voluntary bonding policy is to deny again that any health workforce crisis exists.

“Clearly, Labour does not understand the scale of the workforce issues confronting our health services. Helen Clark and her Ministers continue to be health workforce crisis deniers.”

Mr Ryall is commenting after Labour described National’s warmly received voluntary bonding policy as ‘redundant’.

“Kiwis will be saddened to learn that Labour has no plan to start dealing with the difficulties in getting doctors, nurses, and midwives into hard-to-staff areas. According to senior strategist Pete Hodgson there is no problem.”

Mr Ryall suspects it won’t be long before Labour miraculously produces a scheme that is similar to the one announced by National Leader John Key yesterday.

Since the beginning of the year, the Health Minister has moved to support more than half a dozen 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.

• 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.

• The reinstatement of enrolled nurses.

“After nine long years, Labour has run out of its own fresh ideas to improve our health services. We have lurched from one crisis to the next, and all Labour can do is cynically reject practical solutions for political reasons.

“Kiwis want answers, not excuses.”

For details of National’s voluntary bonding policy visit:


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