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Labour nine years too slow and too late on health

Tony Ryall MP National Party Health Spokesman

27 October 2008

Labour nine years too slow and too late on health

New Zealanders will be choking on Labour's promise to streamline bureaucracy in the health system and deal with hospital waiting lists. Both things have got worse under Labour, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

Mr Ryall is commenting on Labour's uncosted health policy released today.

"After nine years of ignoring it, Labour is promising to deal with the crisis in health only 12 days before an election. Kiwis won't believe a word of it.

"Labour's record is about longer hospital waiting lists, out of control bureaucracy, and a chronic shortage of doctors and nurses.

"Why should anyone believe Labour when they are now promising to 'reduce waiting times' for heart and cancer patients, 'streamline health administration', and 'decisively tackle' workforce shortages?

"New Zealanders haven't forgotten that Labour culled 30,000 patients off hospital waiting lists, and Labour's policy is absolutely silent on those patients.

"The facts are that patients are waiting longer for surgery and needlessly dying on hospital waiting lists, and heart and cancer patients are being sent to Australia.

"Labour has doubled the health budget, but is getting less for it. Elective surgery has not kept up with population growth, and you have to be sicker to get an operation.

"National is offering a comprehensive set of policies for better, sooner, more convenient health care for New Zealanders. Some parts of Labour's policies make sense - the ones they have stolen from National. However, after nine long years nobody believes they are serious about them."

ENDS

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