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Roger Award Goes to Health Minister

8.3.06

Roger Award to Health Minister Highlights Alarming Trends in Health System

The Democrats for social credit applaud the judges of the Roger Award for 2005 for taking the unusual step of making a special award to the health minister because no less than three of the eight finalists came from the health sector.

The joint winners of the annual award for the worst multi-national corporation operating in New Zealand were BNZ and Westpac, but given the extent of health sector involvment in the nominations the judges decided that health needed a special mention.

The report of the award states, "Special award for the protection of profit and privilege at the expense of public health to the Minister of Health on behalf of the government".

This comes hot on the heels of hundreds more Canterbury patients being wiped off surgery waiting lists as the CDHB supplies these people with lists of private providers thereby condemning more people to pain and misery if they cannot afford to pay, said Democrat health spokesman David Tranter.

One long-running case I am following up with the Canterbury DHB reveals chaos and misinformation in the booking system, repeatedly broken promises of treatment, and an increasingly clear indication that privatisation of health is becoming more deeply entrenched as the months go by, Mr. Tranter said. Added to that we have a charity hospital trying to fill some of the surgery gaps in Canterbury and the latest news that South Islanjd GPs do not wish to provide after-hours care even when they charge over $70 for a ten minute consultation.

The un-precedented Roger award will undoubtedly be shrugged off by Pete Hodgson and his government but it should be taken by the public as yet another stark warning of a health system sliding down the slope of pay up - or suffer, Mr. Tranter said.

ENDS


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