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Election day looms and money is everywhere

2000 web siteLabour health spokesperson Annette King said election year gimmicks are flying thick and fast with the Government announcing over $200 million of new health funding in the last week alone.

"This morning National suddenly comes up with $175 million of health funding, which comes on top of last week's announcement of $35 million for Nelson Hospital. With National desperate, the wolf is donning sheep's clothing.

"The new funding would be welcomed if it was not so cynical. Thousands of New Zealanders have been booted off waiting lists over the last year because the money was not there to provide them with an operation. Six weeks out from polling day and suddenly money is everywhere.

"A simplistic 10 point plan will not make up for nine years of cuts and failed policies. Throwing money at child health - this funding has already been previously announced - is almost meaningless unless one is willing to tackle the single greatest cause of many diseases - inadequate housing. National refuses to do this.

"Mr Creech tells us that a National government will get serious about setting health goals and improving the nation's health. This is the same government that axed the Public Health Commission and let health promotion fall into abeyance.

"Despite the fact that there is no pattern of major health funding announcements at this time of year, Health minister Wyatt Creech expects New Zealanders to believe that he is not trying to bribe the electorate with these announcements. It is stretching credulity too far."

Annette King said Labour would soon be unveiling its health policy, which would provide an integrated strategy to tackle the causes of ill health as well as improving the delivery of health services.

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