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No Confidence In Government Budget Health Strategy

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER NO. OF PAGES: 2


MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
THURSDAY 7 JUNE 2001
“Senior Doctors Express No Confidence In Government Budget Health Strategy”

“At a meeting today our National Executive has voted no confidence in the government’s health strategy announced in the Budget,” said Drs Peter Roberts and David Galler, President and Vice President respectively of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

The Executive adopted the following resolution:

That the National Executive expresses no confidence in the government’s strategy of funding public hospitals well below the costs of running them and under-funding primary care. We also condemn the arrogance of its take-it-or-leave-it approach to its negotiations with district health boards and their chief executives.

In our assessment the health funding announced in the Budget will compromise the quality of care and range of services provided by health professionals as well as undermining their confidence and morale. It will make it more difficult to deal with the serious recruitment and retention problems that the health sector currently faces as a result of the disruption of the commercialisation of the 1990s.

Further, we deplore the misleading, unsubstantiated and naive statements from government ministers claiming major savings through greater efficiencies and productivity improvements in public hospitals. Their claims that public hospitals absorb too much health spending and that public hospitals will be doing less work over the next year are untrue and unfair.

We believe that the government is being poorly advised and we urge it to actively engage in regular consultation with senior doctors and other health professionals in its policy making.

“This is an important message that we encourage the government to seriously listen to and not simply disregard or downplay,” concluded Mr Powell.


ENDS

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