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DHB funding is health privatisation trial

DHB funding is health privatisation trial


National's proposed funding arrangements for West Coast DHB building projects can only be logically explained in terms of the Coast being made a guinea pig towards further privatisation of the public health system, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter.

After two years of DSC enquiries as to why the government are forcing the DHB into high interest building loans for the Greymouth Hospital re-build when costs could be slashed if loans were provided through the Reserve Bank, Bill English and Tony Ryall still refuse to say why this is government policy. In his latest non-answer Bill English only offers the feeble comment, "The government does not consider that providing loans should be the role of the Reserve Bank". On the same subject, Tony Ryall previously ended his series of evasions by stating that the correspondence with me is "closed", Mr. Tranter said.

The two ministers' stubborn refusals to answer the question inescapably leads to the conclusion that they have no logical reason other than wanting to keep cash-strapped DHBs like the West Coast in permanent financial mire while leaking the public's health taxes into a financial black hole. The only "logical" reason for this is that somewhere down the track National's privatisation agenda will be used to sell off public health services on the manufactured pretext that DHBs have failed financially and therefore must be privatised, Mr. Tranter said.

Adding insult to financial entrapment in Greymouth, National's agenda regarding a re-build of Westport Hospital, already stunningly slashed from a proposed $26 million project to a mere $8 million, was followed by the government's declaration that there is to be no government funding whatsoever and that funding has to be through the same public/private arrangement which has seen massive cost over-runs and delays in PPP schemes from the U.K. to Australia. And because local leaders are frightened that if they don't play ball with this dictatorial agenda they might lose everything, there is no serious questioning of what is happening around New Zealand, Mr. Tranter said. Given Mr. Ryall's earlier instruction that all DHBs must consider PPP schemes for building projects it becomes even clearer that National want to opt out of funding health facilities wherever they think they can get away with it.

DSC challenge all political parties which genuinely support retaining a government-funded public health service to make their views clear during the remainder of this election campaign. Failure to do so will confirm that they are happy to connive in recent governments' privatisation-by-stealth health agendas. DSC policy is a clear-cut commitment to, "a fully funded public health service", Mr. Tranter concluded.

ENDS

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