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

 


PQ 7. Health, Minister—Statements

7. Health, Minister—Statements
[Sitting date: 24 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:5. Text is subject to correction.]
7. Hon ANNETTE KING (Labour—Rongotai) to the Minister of Health : Does he stand by his statement that resources in Budget 2014 “will help us continue to improve frontline health services for New Zealanders”?
Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE (Minister of Immigration) on behalf of the Minister of Health : Yes. The best example of this is free doctor visits and prescriptions for under-13-year-olds from July next year, with 400,000 children benefiting. The member will be interested to hear that we have been able to afford this because we have turned around Labour’s district health board deficit of $200 million to just $20 million.
Hon Annette King : In light of that answer, why, then, are orthopaedic patients referred to the Hutt Valley District Health Board being told that only urgent cases can now be done, and is that the improvement New Zealanders would get under a National Government?
Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : In respect of orthopaedic services, a lot of work has been done to ensure that only the most urgent cases are referred to orthopaedic specialists. The general practitioners with special interests programme has been a very good strategy for making sure that there is an appropriate filter through which patients are referred. Indeed, as a consequence of smart thinking by this Government, significant increases in elective surgery, including orthopaedic surgery, have been achieved.
Hon Annette King : In light of that answer, then, have orthopaedic operations increased or decreased per 100,000 of population under a National Government in the following district health boards: Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Capital and Coast, Northland, Tairāwhiti, Wairarapa, West Coast, and South Canterbury—in other words, half of the district health boards?
Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : Obviously, that is a very detailed question for which I do not have the answer to hand, but I would be very happy to reply if the member would put it down in writing.
Hon Annette King : I could answer it all if you like, Mr Speaker.
Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member might have to wait for the luck of a general election to have the opportunity.
Hon Annette King : If there is sufficient funding in Budget 2014, why is the Waikato District Health Board telling health professionals that services involving psychologists have increased beyond their capacity to deliver, and children with autism spectrum disorder, learning difficulties, and intellectual disabilities will have to wait longer for appointments, and is that an improvement for kids in New Zealand under a National Government?
Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : Obviously I would have to go and fact-check the paraphrasing that the member has included in his question, but what I would say is that under this Government, district health boards—
Hon Members : Her.
Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : Did I say “his”? I do apologise—her question. But I can say that under this Government, district health boards have been innovative in ensuring that they can produce much more output for a moderate increase in budget, and they have been spectacularly successful in doing so.
Hon Annette King : Was Treasury correct in its recently released Budget report when it said “The funding package requires a very real challenge to district health boards, and given the fiscal environment there is a risk of longer waiting times for patients and unforeseen health consequences .”?
Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : Obviously, the calculations of an appropriate budget increase to meet the changing needs of New Zealanders, including an ageing and different geographic and ethnic mix, is always a very complicated process. Nevertheless, we have been able to achieve significant increases, and I should point out that doing the same thing year in year out would have got us the same result, which is why, under this Government, we have been innovative in investing in things like increasing childhood immunisation, investing in rheumatic fever management, and warming up our homes, so that we prevent those conditions from occurring in the first place.
Hon Annette King : Were district health boards told that Budget 2014 funding was for demographic pressures, with “a contribution to cost pressures”, and has that led to district health boards offering a 0.7 percent pay increase to staff, while inflation is predicted to be 2.2 percent in 2014-15, according to Treasury?
Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : In respect of the first half of the question, although I cannot verify the quote, I have no reason to suspect that it is incorrect, because, indeed, that was what the budgetary increase was designed to achieve. But as I say, we have been very impressed with the manner in which district health boards have been able to do a lot more with a little more.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>

    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:


    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

    For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

    ALSO:


    Gordon Campbell: On lessons for Labour from the UK election
    If the polls were right – and the pollsters kept telling us how accurate they’d been in 2010, and even Nate Silver was getting the same results – there seemed no way that the British Labour Party could lose last Thursday’s British election. With Labour predicted to win around 270 seats and the Scottish National Party batting around 55-60 seats, Labour seemed to be home free. But…as we now know, things didn’t turn out that way. Labour ended up with 232 seats and the Conservatives swept back to power with an outright majority, after winning only a little more than a third ( 36.9%) of the votes cast.MORE >>
    Also.

  • NZ PM John Key - PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election
  • The Nation IV Transcript - Hack Attack author Nick Davies
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news