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Failing Health System Devastates Tauranga Couple

Tauranga Couple Devastated by Failing Health System

A 55-year-old Tauranga woman has been forced to travel to Queensland to treat a life- threatening condition because New Zealand’s health system has let her down, ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesman, Ken Shirley said today.

In May the woman was told she had cancer and required a partial mastectomy, followed by several weeks of radiotherapy.

“All medical advice suggested her condition should not be left for more than 8 weeks,” Mr Shirley said.

“The shock came when the woman was told that Waikato Hospital, where she would have had to be treated, could not undertake the treatment until October at the earliest, because of a long waiting list caused principally by staff shortages.”

Mr Shirley said no other New Zealand hospital could offer a more prompt service either.

“Facing a life-threatening situation, the couple have, at considerable expense and hardship, made the journey to Coollangata for treatment.”

Mr Shirley said the collapse of New Zealand’s basic health system was an “outrage.”

“We have the technology in place but the system is failing to deliver on the most basic needs,” he said.

“Health Minister Annette King’s so-called reforms will not do a thing to alleviate the problem and instead will further erode the morale of many staff who are already shell-shocked by the endless bureaucratic restructuring of our health system, “ Mr Shirley said.

“It is little wonder that our highly trained doctors and nurses are leaving in droves.

“The real tragedy will be for those families and individuals who can not exercise choice, and could either suffer or die because New Zealand’s health sector could not treat them in time,” Mr Shirley.

Ends


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