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Scapegoats For An Anti-Public Hospital Budget?


ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER NO. OF PAGES: 1

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
MONDAY 28 MAY 2001

“IS GOVERNMENT USING HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AS SCAPEGOAT FOR ANTI-PUBLIC HOSPITAL BUDGET?”

“There are increasing suspicions that the government is going to use health professionals as a scapegoat over its anti-public hospital budget,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Last Friday Treasurer Michael Cullen suggested that the financial difficulties of public hospitals was caused by so-called wage settlements. Yesterday he suggested that senior doctors were more concerned with their own salaries than standards of patient care.”

“This is an arrogant, offensive and inept attempt to divert attention from his the intense pressure his budget will place public hospitals, health professionals and patients under threatening standards and increasing financial deficits. His irresponsible and nasty insinuations will undermine New Zealand’s ability to overcome major medical and nursing shortages that are already undermining public hospital services.”

“Before the last election the Labour Party was all over health professional organisations like a rash. Now Labour is treating senior doctors and other health professionals with disdain. It should not be surprising therefore if the sentiments are reciprocated.”

“Dr Cullen seems to be in the same boat as the government appointed chairperson of the Tairawhiti and Northland district health boards, Wayne Brown, who has boasted that he does not care a ‘stuff about staff’. Does the government’s failure to reprimand Mr Brown and Dr Cullen’s insinuations mean that the government also does not care a ‘stuff about staff’?” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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