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National Cuts Four Frontline Services A Month

National Cuts Four Frontline Health Services A Month

A conservative stock take of health services shows that 80 frontline patient services have been cut by the National Government since it came into office, Labour Health spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.

“The speed and number of cutbacks, which include denying elderly home-help, means that the Minister of Health Tony Ryall is now agreeing for DHBs to cut at least four patient services every month,” Ruth Dyson says.

“Clearly the National Government does not have improving the health of Kiwis as one of its top priorities. Mental health services, public health programmes tackling obesity and diabetes and district nursing services in the central North Island are among the ‘low priority’ areas that National has cut back.

“Every week in Parliament Tony Ryall stands up and tells New Zealanders he is delivering more elective surgery. Labour supports an increase in elective surgery, but the Minister needs to be honest with New Zealanders and tell them he is cutting patient services in other areas.

“Eighty frontline service cutbacks is simply shocking. New Zealanders did not vote for frontline health cuts and yet that is exactly what the Minister has delivered.

“In opposition Mr Ryall told the public that every decision to change services was the responsibility of the Minister, but now as Minister of Health he has publicly washed his hands of the cutbacks he is allowing.

“Mr Ryall has told the public that there are no cutbacks, just ‘changes’.
“It is simply astounding the Mr Ryall is boasting about record spending in health while agreeing to record cutbacks in the health sector.

“Record spending should mean no cuts to health services. Mr Ryall has no excuses to cut services.
“The reality is National is not focussed on improving the health of New Zealanders through health promotion or primary health. This omission will lead to more expensive health treatments in the long run.

“In the past few weeks we have learned of a case where a man was denied home help, only to collapse in his home and as a result being admitted to hospital for several days.

“The total cost of his hospital stay would have been several thousand dollars. The total saving to the Government by denying him home help was $30 a week.

“It makes no sense that the Government would rather have elderly in hospital or resthomes, than spend $30 a week supporting them in their own homes

“The Labour Party will continue to monitor the cutbacks in health and will be regularly releasing a list of updated health cuts,” Ruth Dyson said.


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