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ACT - dollars for health bureaucrats not patients

Tue Nov 2 1999

ACT's health policy will see hospitals sold, health dollars used on health bureaucrats not patients and health insurance premiums pricing the elderly and chronically ill out of the market.

'ACT's health policy today is a dishonest attempt to pretend that they are not going to sell hospitals and cut health funding. ACT's flat tax policy will mean they will have to slash health funding and sell hospitals,' Alliance Health spokesperson Phillida Bunkle said.

'ACT's Infometrics report states they will have to made a cut of at least $1,250 million from social services to fund its tax policy over the next two years. Some of this will have to come from the health budget.

'ACT wants to sell all state assets. ACT will sell our hospitals.

'They will sell public hospitals bit by bit through joint ventures and contracting out services to private hospitals.

'But privatising the system will cost a lot more. Private hospitals cost more to do the same procedures than public hospitals.

'ACT's policy was tried and has been abandoned in the UK because promises of lower costs in the private sector were found to be false. Cost overruns meant the average private bed cost was twice that of the public sector.

'In New Zealand figures supplied by Southern Cross show it costs more to do an operation in a private hospital than a public one. This is a direct result of contracting, paying health bureaucrats such as the HFA and profit motives of private providers.

'ACT wants money to go to health bureaucrats rather than patients.

'The Alliance policy is to save money by getting rid of the costly HFA, saving $115 million. ACT will have to expand the HFA to manage contracting in a complex, fragmented health sector.

'ACT's plans to rely on private health insurers will mean that premiums will continue to increase and people who are at risk such as the elderly and chronically ill will be unable to afford exorbitant insurance premiums.

'For these people there will be no public system for them to fall back on.

'ACT's health policy will completely destroy our public health system so that those on high incomes can get a tax cut. We can't take that risk,' Phillida Bunkle said.

Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance

ACT's health policy will see hospitals sold, health dollars used on health bureaucrats not patients and health insurance premiums pricing the elderly and chronically ill out of the market.

'ACT's health policy today is a dishonest attempt to pretend that they are not going to sell hospitals and cut health funding. ACT's flat tax policy will mean they will have to slash health funding and sell hospitals,' Alliance Health spokesperson Phillida Bunkle said.

'ACT's Infometrics report states they will have to made a cut of at least $1,250 million from social services to fund its tax policy over the next two years. Some of this will have to come from the health budget.

'ACT wants to sell all state assets. ACT will sell our hospitals.

'They will sell public hospitals bit by bit through joint ventures and contracting out services to private hospitals.

'But privatising the system will cost a lot more. Private hospitals cost more to do the same procedures than public hospitals.

'ACT's policy was tried and has been abandoned in the UK because promises of lower costs in the private sector were found to be false. Cost overruns meant the average private bed cost was twice that of the public sector.

'In New Zealand figures supplied by Southern Cross show it costs more to do an operation in a private hospital than a public one. This is a direct result of contracting, paying health bureaucrats such as the HFA and profit motives of private providers.

'ACT wants money to go to health bureaucrats rather than patients.

'The Alliance policy is to save money by getting rid of the costly HFA, saving $115 million. ACT will have to expand the HFA to manage contracting in a complex, fragmented health sector.

'ACT's plans to rely on private health insurers will mean that premiums will continue to increase and people who are at risk such as the elderly and chronically ill will be unable to afford exorbitant insurance premiums.

'For these people there will be no public system for them to fall back on.

'ACT's health policy will completely destroy our public health system so that those on high incomes can get a tax cut. We can't take that risk,' Phillida Bunkle said.


ENDS

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