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Nat’s put populism over policy again


Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

30 September 2008 Media Statement

Nat’s put populism over policy again

National is yet again pulling policy and numbers out of the air to desperately garner votes rather than offering real solutions to real issues.

Minister of Health David Cunliffe today announced his support for the Medical Training Board’s (MTB) preliminary proposal for medical workforce training.

“The MTB report is based on real information wide consultation and rigorous analysis. I am confident in the MTB process,” he said.

MTB has recommended building to wards 100 additional training places over 4 years. The MTB has also noted the need for further work to firm up its recommendation by early next year.

“Cabinet has indicated that it is willing to work to increase medical training places in a budget process during 2009.”

Mr Cunliffe contrasted this robust and well planned approach with National’s announcement - apparently plucked from the air today.

““I note that their earlier leaked policy failed to mention any medical training numbers. Nationals approach has all the certainty of John Key share portfolio.”

“Why National thinks it should double the places recommended by the sector experts is a mystery to everyone as is the questions as to how they would fund it?

Mr Cunliffe said the Labour Government was focussed on a number of strategies, including improving pay and conditions for doctors and nurses working in New Zealand as well as increasing doctor training numbers.

“This Government has increased doctor training numbers twice since coming in office, it has given nurses and doctors significant pay jolts, it has established a workforce commission to improve doctor training and give medical staff more say in their workplace.

This government is taking an integrated whole of system approach - not as an ad-hoc policy statement or press release.”

“Where is the money coming from for this – what are they cutting, are they reducing entry thresholds into medical schools, do DHBs or universities have the capacity to take this number of trainees? All these important question are clearly missing from the National Party release.”


ENDS

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