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Cunliffe must release real electives figures

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman

15 October 2008

Cunliffe must release real electives figures

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says David Cunliffe's continuing silence on the smoke and mirrors used in Sunday's health targets release speaks volumes.

"On Sunday, in a low-key release, the Ministry of Health released data claiming an extra 12,000 elective operations in the past year.

"But two days earlier, Mr Cunliffe had said it was 12,000 over two years.

"We would check his figures, but strangely the previous results appear to have been removed from the Health Ministry's website.

"What Sunday's release did reveal is that the Labour Government is now counting procedures and services not usually included in these figures as elective operations. And we also now know that the base for comparison has been lowered in order to make it look as though more has been done.

"Mr Cunliffe should release the full 2007/8 elective discharges information in the same format that he usually provides it in Parliament. He should also give a full explanation of what he is and isn't counting, and what previous performance he is recalculating and why.

"He must also explain where the previous results have gone from the MoH website.

"It's harder to qualify for elective surgery. Fewer New Zealanders are getting elective surgery on a per capita basis. And what's clear is that Labour has no ideas on how to improve this, while National has released a full set of proposals for tackling waiting lists."

ENDS

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