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Health minister can’t guarantee patient safety

Health minister can’t guarantee patient safety because of ongoing health cuts

Minister of Health Tony Ryall today refused to guarantee patient safety, Labour Health spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.

“Today in Parliament Tony Ryall was asked to guarantee the safety of elderly who are having their home support cut around the country, mental health clients in Wellington and Nelson who are having their services cut and patients in Whanganui; Mr Ryall refused to provide this assurance,” Ruth Dyson said.

“If the Minister of Health won’t guarantee that the cutbacks he is approving will ensure patient safety requirements are met, then New Zealanders should be extremely worried.

“Patient safety should be of the utmost importance in the health sector and the fact that the Minister refuses to ensure that the safety of patients is not being compromised is concerning.

“Clearly Tony Ryall is more suited to accountancy than health, because today he appeared to be able to recall dollar amounts provided to DHBs, but was unable to provide any details on health services at those same DHBs.

“I have for quite some time been extremely worried that the Minister has not been concerning himself with the delivery of patient orientated services to elderly, mental health patients, diabetics and many others.

“Mr Ryall needs to be held to account for patients in these services and their safety.

“Labour MPs are seeing increasing numbers of people in their electorate offices concerned at the level of health cuts. So far more than 80 frontline health services have been cut in 18 months.

“Continuing to cutback patients services particularly for the elderly or mentally unwell puts their health and safety at risk and the Minister needs to face up to the facts that real patients are suffering from his cutbacks in services,” Ruth Dyson said.


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