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King: A health policy about patients, not profits

Labour
2000 web siteLabour is committed to restoring public faith in a quality and comprehensive public health system. Labour’s policy is about focusing on patients, not profits, Labour health spokesperson Annette King said.

“The National Government’s market-driven experiment in health has been a dismal failure. Labour has listened to the concerns of the public and health professionals and has identified a number of objectives for its first term in office. These include:

 The restoration of a non-commercial system, with the focus on the provision of quality services. The profit motive will be removed from the public health sector.
 Acceptance by the Minister of Health of full accountability for funding decisions and the direction of health policy.
 Community involvement in the planning, provision and management of health services. Primary and secondary care will be well integrated and decision making in the health sector will once again be an open and publicly accountable process.
 Significant improvements will be made in the effectiveness of health service delivery to Maori and Pacific peoples.
 Longer-term funding arrangements will be made with organisations with a proven track record of delivery.
 The education and training of health professionals will once again be a core function of the public health service.

“Under Labour the health and hospital services will become District Health Boards, with a majority of members elected from the local community, to run regional public health services. Local people should be actively involved in decisions which affect them.

“At a central level, the functions of the Health Funding Authority will be absorbed back into the Ministry of Health. No longer will there be two Crown agencies competing to be the lead advisor to the government.

“Labour will increase the money available for elective surgery to provide certainty about when people will get the surgery they need.

“Addressing the gaps in mental health is another top priority for Labour. Mental health services will be largely community based, of high quality, involve consumers in planning and delivery, delivered by Maori for Maori where appropriate, more accessible to people living in rural communities, and available to people with the greatest need.

“Prevention is better than cure. We propose to work again to a clear set of Health Goals which focus on preventing death, illness, and disability wherever possible, and managing well the chronic ailments like asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.

“The market experiment in health has been a costly failure. What is needed now is an overarching vision for raising health status and improving health services delivery with a non-commercial, community oriented, collaborative, and open and accountable public health sector leading the way. Those are the guiding principles of the Labour approach to health policy,” Annette King said.


Contact: Annette King 04 471-9103 or 025 461-675


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