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Government Health Decisions Business As Usual

"Recent decisions to invest more in health are this Government's business as usual approach to improving health services for New Zealanders," Health Minister Wyatt Creech said today.

"Claims extra investment is an 'electioneering gimmick' are shallow and fail to understand what being in Government is all about.

"Election or no election the health system must continue to operate. This is part of normal business.

"The extra $175 million for hospital and health services has been determined at this point in time since 1997. It is part of the Government's approach of providing a sustainable funding path for health services to give the sector certainty and security about funding.

"The Health Funding Authority needs to know now the funding available so it can get on with the job of negotiating contracts to be concluded by April next year.

"In addition under the Fiscal Responsibility Act the money will be identified in the Pre-election Fiscal Update to be released this week.

Mr Creech said Labour's claims about the $35million extra capital investment for Nelson Hospital were also incorrect.

"Ask Nelson Hospital whether the extra $35 million for their redevelopment is an election gimmick. The investment has been the result of hard work and planning from Nelson Marlborough Health Services. The Government just wants them to get on with the job of planning and upgrading the hospital.

"Labour's also got it wrong claiming there have been nine years of health cuts – funding is up $2 billion today compared to 1990."

ENDS

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