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Health Ministry ignores select committee

Jo Goodhew MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

7 November 2007

Health Ministry ignores select committee

Red-faced Health Ministry representatives have today admitted they have ignored the Health Select Committee's recommendation of one year ago - to measure how much sicker older people are now, than in the past, when they enter aged residential care.

"This goes to the heart of whether this Labour Government is adequately caring for these vulnerable New Zealanders", says National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Jo Goodhew.

"I'm appalled at this head-in-the-sand attitude. Do they seriously believe that if they don't measure it they won't have to provide it?"

In addition, the Ministry officials admit they have no idea when they will address the hefty compliance costs associated with multiple audits of the health sector. They say it is a work in progress.

"This is hugely disappointing, given that there have been endless trials, surveys and complaints about the impact of multiple audits on the health sector.

"New Zealanders want to know their health services are audited to ensure safety, but healthcare providers are being subjected to audits which are inconsistent and frequently double up."

National has proposed that audit tools be standardised, some audits combined, and an increase of mid-cycle 'self-audit' tools, such as those currently used by ACC be considered.

ENDS


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