Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Paying patients to go away not a solution

David Clark
MP for Dunedin North

18 July 2014

Paying patients to go away not a solution

A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Dunedin North MP David Clark says.

It follows reports of Counties Manukau police recoding some 700 burglaries, so they were not recorded in crime statistics.

“Southern DHB patients who can afford to visit their doctor before presenting at the emergency department are promised a fast track through the ED process. Those who go straight to the ED because they can’t afford to visit their GP will now get sent off to their doctor with a voucher for a free visit. Effectively they’re paid to go away.

“I understand that they will only get a voucher on presentation of their community services card. There are plenty of people without a card who are financially stretched. Nurses are trained to assess health issues not financial status.

“This perverse approach is yet another band aid. The problem wouldn’t exist if health care was properly funded.

“Southern DHB currently ranks second-to-bottom against three of the government’s health targets (including ED waiting time), yet the DHB’s primary focus continues to be cost-cutting. Services have been cut to the bone. How does any of this reflect a DHB committed to the provision of good, quality health care?

“DHB staff continue to do an admirable job under increasingly trying circumstances, yet one of two senior executives at the DHB taken off regular duties has been asked to focus on savings in the area of quality.

“Cutting quality is the answer to a question that shouldn’t need to be asked. At a time when the Southern DHB is lagging behind virtually every other DHB in so many areas, surely it should be looking to invest in quality, rather than targeting that area for potential cost-savings. All of this is a response to this government’s chronic underfunding of health in the south.

“The DHB’s deficit is now expected to rise from an initial $9 million projected shortfall to just shy of $14 million. Labour has already committed to reviewing the population-based funding formula, if elected, to ensure that the likes of Southern DHB – geographically the largest in the country – is getting its fair share of the national health budget,” David Clark says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Climate Talks, Immigration And Housing: PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference

Prime Minister John Key began by talking about his recent attendance at the APEC and ASEAN summits. He segued neatly from the opportunities available in Vietnam to outlining his upcoming itinerary which includes Malta, Paris and Berlin. More>>


After Urgent Law Change: Beneficiaries Urged To Act Immediately

I am hoping that thousands more people will be enabled to lodge their review... people without internet, who don't even realise that this has been happening. If just a fraction of the people on facebook can help others to put in reviews tomorrow it could improve so many more peoples Christmas. More>>


Auckland: Phil Goff To Run For Mayor In 2016

Phil Goff has today announced his decision to stand as an Independent candidate for Mayor of Auckland next year... As Mayor, Phil Goff will focus on a number of issues that directly impact on the lives of Aucklanders, including tackling traffic congestion and increasing the housing supply. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Mike Moore To Step Down As US Ambassador

Yvonne and I are giving notice to MFAT that we will be leaving the Post just before Christmas on the 16th December... I am now the longest serving continuous Ambassador to the US. I didn’t seek this job but felt I should do it because great issues were at stake. The time was ripe for it. More>>


Fox Glacier: Seven Dead In Helicopter Crash

The operation to recover the victims of Saturday’s helicopter crash at Fox Glacier is a technically challenging task calling for specialist skills in an unforgiving environment, says operation commander Inspector John Canning. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news