Public Hospital Under-Funding
“Public Hospital Under-Funding May Force New Zealanders To Private Health Insurance”
“Claims that the Government’s decision in the Budget to under-fund public hospitals will force New Zealanders to consider private health insurance are unfortunately correct,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the statement by Health Funds New Zealand on behalf of the private health insurance industry.
“Under-funding continues to force public hospitals to deny or seriously delay access of patients to public hospitals in need of essential treatment. This pressures them to consider turning in desperation to the private sector. Unfortunately the Minister of Health’s continued negative comments since the Budget about public hospitals reinforces the pessimism about their future.”
“This is unfair on all New Zealanders who have paid for public hospitals through their taxes and doubly unfair on those on low incomes who can’t afford private health insurance.”
“Private health insurance should be a personal choice rather than in effect compulsory for those denied or delayed access to public hospitals. Otherwise a two-tier health system based on income is inevitable,” concluded Mr Powell.