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Health Budget not even treading water

15 May 2013

Health Budget not even treading water

Tony Ryall’s health budget tomorrow needs to significantly increase if he wants to achieve more than just treading water, Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague says.

“Council of Trade Union analysis released today paints a concerning picture of the state of the health sector under National.

“Just to keep pace with population changes and cost increases, there needs to be a minimum $445 million increase in the budget or services will be cut and user charges imposed.

“Tony Ryall’s approach to health has been to move existing funding around to stop gaps but he has no vision for the future.

“Tony Ryall puts band-aids on serious problems without addressing root causes.

“His recent pre-budget rheumatic fever announcement highlights this superficial approach to health problems. National will fund measures to raise awareness, test more kids and give advice about home insulation.

“Poor and overcrowded housing is a big factor in such illnesses but this Government has done little to address these underlying problems.

“Obesity is a serious epidemic and the health system is groaning under the rising rates of heart disease and diabetes.

“Far from tackling the problem of obesity, the National Government has canned Ministry of Health funds for Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) programmes, dumped guidelines that ensured only health options were sold at schools and won’t invest in obesity prevention.

“New Zealand’s health bill is just going to grow under this National Government which buries its head in the sand about the causes of problems and only tries to sweep up the pieces.

“A Government the Green Party is part of will tackle the health issues at their core, addressing both housing and poverty issues for New Zealand kids.”

ENDS

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