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$175 Million More For Health Services

MEDIA RELEASE

Rt Hon Wyatt Creech
Minister of Health
18 October 1999

$175 MILLION MORE FOR HEALTH SERVICES

The Minister of Health today announced an extra $175million a year would be provided to deliver better health and hospital care for New Zealanders.

"The extra money gives certainty and security about funding levels for the new financial year and will be used to improve and operate the country's hospital and health services," Mr Creech said.

"The new spending goes hand-in-hand with National's ten point health action plan also released today. The extra money along with previously announced increased health spending will help deliver on the ten point plan."

Mr Creech said the extra funding will be included in the Government's pre-election fiscal update released on Thursday. It will be incorporated into the 2000 Budget.

Since 1997 announcements about the major components of the health budget have been made at this time so HFA and Hospital contract negotiations can begin.

"I want these contracts completed by April 2000 so they can take effect on 1 July. I intend to make further announcements shortly on new proposals for rural health and other initiatives worked out over the course of this year," Mr Creech said.

"Our health action plan has ten key planks

1. Stability
2. Public certainty about access,quality and security of services
3. Implementation of Booking Systems
4. Keeping children healthy and well
5. More health promotion and population health approaches
6. Focus on primary care services
7. Cut long standing disparities in health status
8. Improve mental health services
9. Well co-ordinated, integrated services
10. Government agencies and providers working together
"National is committed to certainty, security and stability in the health sector. This sustainable funding path is a Government initiative designed to give hospitals certainty over their funding levels.

"The extra funding announced today is consistent with National's tax cut commitments. As well as cutting taxes National has made a commitment to dollar for dollar increases in social spending."

ENDS

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