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Time for Hodgson to focus on health

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman

27 October 2006

Time for Hodgson to focus on health

National is calling on Health Minister Pete Hodgson to focus less on his party's political problems and more on the pressing issues in the health system.

National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall, says the Government's failure to step in and help resolve the stand-off between radiographers and DHBs is the latest example of Pete Hodgson's neglect of his health portfolio.

Radiographers from seven DHBs say they intend to stop work for five days from 10 November, following strikes in September which saw some hospitals virtually close down.

"Yet Health Minister Pete Hodgson is more intent on politicking than taking responsibility for his failing health system. It's time he got back to work," says Mr Ryall.

"The last radiographer strike affected thousands of patients and paralysed some hospitals. Eighty per cent of patients need to see a radiographer and there is no one else in the public system to do their work.

"Each time this happens thousands more Kiwis risk being culled from waiting lists as hospitals postpone elective surgery and go into emergency mode.

"The people getting hurt are people who can't go private and are missing out because of the electives crisis and industrial strife.

"The industrial strife cannot continue indefinitely - the Government needs to step in. Pete Hodgson needs to stop being Helen Clark's defender and start being this country's Health Minister."

ENDS

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