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Another Step Down Health Privatisation Road

Another Step Down Health Privatisation Road

The Otago and Southland DHBs' contracting of all hospital laboratory services to the private sector further demonstrates the privatisation by stealth of the New Zealand health system together with the failure of the post-1993 corporatisation of health management, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman, David Tranter.

The admission by the Otago and Southland DHBs that the private sector - even with the need to produce a profit for their shareholders - can run laboratory services for millions of dollars less than under their management is an admission of failure that they should not be allowed to camouflage under their claim of having discovered a brilliant strategy to save the taxpayers' heath dollars. The key issue is not that private sector management is so good but that the post-1993 corporatised public system management is a pathologically inefficient, lumbering juggernaut that is further promoting health privatisation by dumping thousands of patients off their waiting lists and then handing them lists of private providers, Mr. Tranter said.

Meanwhile, former vet turned health minister Pete Hodgson desperately evades the issues with such statements as his recent outlandish claim that patients are better off without surgery. Since many of those patients, some known to me personally in my role as a volunteer patient advocate, are suffering seriously debilitating conditions which require prompt treatment, it is clear this minister is as unconcerned as his predecessor about the direction of the public health system. This system was once the envy of other developed countries but if present trends continue there can be little doubt that we are headed for the iniquities of the United States health system which has clearly demonstrated that privatisation is a spectacularly inefficient way of making the best use of the available health funding.

ENDS

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