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Back to the Future – Again

Media Release

Date: 3/10/2006 10:01 a.M.

Back to the Future – Again

The revisiting of the waiting list issue highlights not only the failure of our Labour Government in providing effective solutions to the problems around provision of hospital services but also the spectacular hypocrisy of National’s Dr Jonathan Coleman in attacking what was effectively Nationals own policy when last in power.

Nationals solution to the burgeoning waiting lists in the mid 90s was a process called Managed Access to Integrated Support Services (MAISS).

Service providers at the time challenged health authorities to deny that it was a process of rationing services to fit inside a fiscal envelop that was too small. The denial was made but subsequently the Health Minister at that time, Bill English, publicly apologised in Hamilton for the failure of Nationals reforms.

It needs to be noted that Nationals current funding proposal for health is basically the same one they had in 1995 and is similar to that of the present Labour Government. That means the problems of the past 30 years will continue to come back to haunt and hurt us.

Funding for health care service delivery needs to be made on the basis of what is best for the patient, rather than focused on spending huge amounts of money (and time) managing the issues the present funding mechanism creates.

A new mechanism for funding essential infrastructure is needed. The Democrats are the only party with a viable proposal to address and resolve the waiting list issue, once and for all.

ENDS

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