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CDHB using x-rays as a revenue generator

Media Release

20 October 2005

CDHB using x-rays as a revenue generator

CDHB patients are being invited to jump the x-ray waiting lists by paying the DHB after which they can have x-rays carried out immediately in public hospitals, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter.

While it has been widely known for some time that the CDHB are referring patients to the private sector when they have to wait for treatment considered urgent by patients and their doctors, the DHB’s payment for x-rays in public hospitals was brought to my attention recently by a patient who told me she had paid $97 for her x-rays, Mr. Tranter said.

On querying this with the DHB’s Murray Dickson I was told that the DHB did not charge for x-rays, but no mention was made of the DHB offering patients immediate x-rays if they paid for them.

When Mr. Dickson’s repsonse was conveyed to the patient they clarified that despite having serious heart problems they understood there would be considerable delay in having x-rays unless they paid for them – at a public hospital.

This extension of the pay-or-wait approach from the private sector to a district health board is further evidence of the privatisation-by-stealth agenda which threatens the integrity of the New Zealand public health system.

The Democrats for Social Credit call on the new health minister to conduct an immediate enquiry into how widespread this practice is both within the CDHB and all other health boards,

ENDS

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