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Big business has no place in public hospitals

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

28 October 2008 Media Statement

Big business has no place in public hospitals

The latest release from the Business Round Table shows why big business has no place in public hospitals Minister of Health David Cunliffe said.

Mr Cunliffe said the claims made by the BRT showed they had zero understanding of the health sector.

"Their report doesn't look at quality of health services, it doesn't look at whether patients are accessing more health services or what is needed to attract and retain health professionals to the health sector and it certainly doesn't look at whether health professionals were underpaid in the 1990's."

Mr Cunliffe said the Government had made a substantial investment in primary health and health promotion, where the aim was to keep people well, and had have invested over $2 billion in hospital infrastructure to replace the neglected hospital infrastructure of the 1990’s, as well as increasing salaries for our frontline health workers, and increasing the amount of elective surgery.”

“The Labour Party happens to think increasing salaries for health workers is a positive and I think the public would probably agree. Without paying competitive salaries, we would have increasing workforce shortages.

"This is just a silly, silly report that says nothing about health but speak volumes about why business has no place in public hospitals.

"Health is really measured by whether we have more people accessing health services and more frontline health professionals delivering it and under this government we have both."

Mr Cunliffe said people should take the BRT report with a grain of salt.

"The release of this report leading up to an election is a fairly obvious ploy. On one hand we have the Labour Party promising to continue increasing access to affordable, accessible, public health care and on the other hand we have the National Party wanting to cosy up to big business to deliver health.

"Big business would gain a lot by National coming to power, while the public who need affordable, accessible public health care would lose out - just like in the 1990's."


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