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Govt Proposal OK in Principle But Devil in Detail

HEATHER CARTER, HCH SPOKESPERSON

MEDIA RELEASE WEDNESDAY 21 OCTOBER 2009

Govt Proposal OK in Principle But Devil in Detail

“Health Cuts Hurt supports the principles behind the Government’s decisions about the public health system announced today but is concerned that the devil is in the so far undelivered detail,” Chairperson of patient lobby group, Health Cuts Hurt, Heather Carter said today. She was commenting on the 21 October announcement by Tony Ryall on improving the quality and performance of the health sector.

"How can you oppose more consolidation of the administrative functions like purchasing in bulk and more regional cooperation in service delivery along with returning savings from these things into more operations or hospital beds,” said Heather Carter.

“It seems sensible to use the bulk purchasing power of the public health sector to achieve savings in very expensive medical sector and to plough those and other such savings back into more surgery like the 16,000 heart bypass operations or two new city hospitals mentioned in the report.”

“However the savings from cutting 500 administrative jobs may be illusory if their work merely gets passed onto clinicians,” said Heather Carter. “While the 170 jobs in the Ministry of Health could possibly be called bureaucrats, that same cannot apply to ward clerks and medical secretaries in the hospitals.”

“Similarly while it seems sensible to have one major IT developer across NZ, we all know stories of where such huge schemes have come to grief,” said Heather Carter.

“We disagree strongly with the Minister that the high annual rate of increase in health spending cannot be sustained. In the end health is a demand driven service and more resources will continue to be needed as our longer living population ages.”

“Health Cuts Hurt asks the Government to stop over promising on what cuts can deliver and start over delivering on expectations,” said Heather Carter.

ENDS

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