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Hodgson’s hollow promise

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

11 October 2006

Hodgson’s hollow promise

Despite promising that an extra 10,000 people a year would get elective surgery, Health Minister Pete Hodgson has no idea how many extra operations will be provided, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

In Parliament today, Mr Hodgson admitted he had no idea how many extra people would get operations under the Government’s announcement.

"The Labour Government has no idea what its extra money for electives will actually buy. There are problems with stepping up capacity, skill and staffing all over the country. This promise is very hollow.

"Cabinet papers reveal that the Ministry of Health has warned the Government about these risks.”

National has released data which shows that although health spending has grown by $4 billion, fewer people are getting elective surgery now than six years ago.

“If the Government spent $4 billion more over six years and fewer people got operations, it is hard to believe that $50 million will buy 10,000 extra operations.

"National says we could expand elective surgery by smarter use of the private sector, greater involvement of specialists in decision-making, cuts to bureaucracy, and moving resources into services through a greater focus on value for money.”

Elective surgery discharges:

2000/2001 – 107,914 2001/2002 – 106,665 2002/2003 – 104,987 2003/2004 – 106,179 2004/2005 – 107,159 2005/2006 – 105,784

ENDS

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