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Dust being blown off hospital cash registers?

Dust being blown off hospital cash registers?

The release of a consultation document in Southland showing that it intends to offer hospital based health services at a price is the start of a slippery slope, Labour Deputy Leader Annette King says

“The poorly worded Bridging the Gap consultation document released by Southland DHB does not even bother to list the hospital services it hopes to charge for.

“How are people supposed to provide their views of charging for unnamed hospital services, and why is the DHB consulting on this drastic change in hospital policy during December and January when people are less likely to be available to provide their views?

“Its clear this proposal sets a dangerous precedent. Paying patients would mean that doctors and nurses would be busy providing revenue gathering services for the DHB rather than being available to all their patients on an equal basis.

“Clearly the ability of some patients to pay will lead to queue jumping for the wealthy while those who can’t find the funds will be treated as second class patients.

“There are only so many doctors and nurses to go around and they should be available to help all people who walk through the public hospital doors.

“The Minister of Health Tony Ryall needs to step in and put a stop to this immediately.

“Unfortunately the Southland case is likely to be a stalking horse for further privatisation and cheque book health care in this country,” Annette King said.

ENDS

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