Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Health Minister fudges situation with cynical use of data

Health Minister fudges situation with cynical use of Hospital doctor data

“The Minister of Health is fudging the situation when he claims New Zealand’s public hospitals are employing more doctors than ever before,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on media reports in which Health Minister Tony Ryall says more doctors and nurses are being employed in hospitals, the Government is spending more on health and patients have access to more health services.

“While the number of hospital specialists has risen over the four years from 2009 to 2013, the situation is nowhere near as rosy as Mr Ryall is painting,” says Mr Powell.

“He fudges the data by mixing up specialists with doctors-in-training (some of this specific data is also dodgy).”

“The reality is that our public hospitals are chronically strapped for cash and the increases in specialist numbers have been nowhere near enough to meet the increasing demand for more and better health care from an aging population with increasingly complex health needs and because of the health effects of increasing poverty.

“Based on headcount data provided by district health boards the number of hospital specialists has increased by 710 nationally over the period 1 July 2009 to 1 July 2013.

“In 2010 we jointly agreed with the district health boards that in order to address shortages New Zealand needed to increase public hospital specialists by over 200 per year. The last time we did this was in 2008.

“In fact, the average annual growth of hospital specialists has according to DHB data was 29 less that the average annual growth in the previous four years under the previous government.

“At first glance Mr Ryall’s numbers might look good until you realise the level of need that’s in our communities and the fact that many people around the country are struggling to even make it onto public hospital waiting lists for surgery that their doctors say they need. Certainly we know that the vacancies public hospitals advertise do not reflect the clinical shortages being experienced, as vacancies reflect the funding available to recruit to positions rather than the actual need.”

Mr Powell says public hospitals will begin the new financial year even more cash-strapped than usual, thanks to the Government’s health budget announced last month. Council of Trade Unions (CTU) analysis of the Budget figures shows they face a shortfall of an estimated $94 million while the sector as a whole will be $232 million short of what it needs.

“Mr Ryall is being a naughty boy. Rather than release a media statement in the normal way that can be seen by all and open to scrutiny, he has released selective data to selected newspapers hoping to avoid our scrutiny because we have previously exposed his dodgy use of data. Good try but it didn’t work.

“The way the Minister is using his Ministry’s data on clinical workforce numbers is a cynical ploy in an election year to convince people that – despite all evidence to the contrary – they’re actually getting the health care they need. All it shows in reality is that the Government is yet again failing to acknowledge and address the very real and concerning issues of funding and workforce capacity which face New Zealand’s health system.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news