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Richard Prebble Trying To Turn Back Clock

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER NO. OF PAGES: 1

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
FRIDAY 13 JULY 2001

“Richard Prebble Trying To Turn Back Ideological Clock”

“ACT leader Richard Prebble is trying to turn back the ideological clock with his call to privatise public hospital services in response to funding problems,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“The failed ‘free market’ experiment of the 1990s is largely responsible for the difficulties public hospitals are now facing. The market ideology of the 1990s meant that workforce planning went out the window and a whole decade was lost. This significantly reduced our ability to plan for future anticipated needs. We are now paying the price with severe staffing shortages of doctors and nurses.”

“Public hospitals also faced major funding difficulties in the 1990s as many services were run down. The current government’s recent Budget with seriously inadequate funding has made worse what was already a serious situation.”

“The solution is practical, not ideological. The funding for public hospitals is less that the cost of running them and there is no fat in the system.”

“Only Richard could suggest a return to the failed past with a nightmare on Prebble Street on Friday the 13th,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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