Minister continues to hide from problems in Health
17 December 2010
Minister of Health continues to hide from problems in health sector
One of National's flagship health policies is failing and Health Minister Tony Ryall appears to be missing in action when it comes to plans to address it, Labour Health spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.
"The National Government claimed it would have greater clinical input in the day to day running of health services in New Zealand. However a survey of more than 1600 doctors has found the majority don't believe clinical engagement is really occurring," Ruth Dyson said.
"A poem by emergency specialist, Dr John Chambers, features on the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists' (ASMS) website this month and conveys this in an innovative way.
"Survey results published by the ASMS show that workforce issues that are not being adequately addressed mean there are simply not enough doctors for them to engage with the day to day governance of hospitals to make a difference.
"But while doctors are dissatisfied, the Minister of Health is nowhere to be seen. Just like he was nowhere to be seen when elderly resthome residents were evicted in Taihape and yesterday he had his office staff answer questions about cancer waiting times rather than front himself. I have no doubt Mr Ryall will also fail to front on this serious issue.
"It seems that unless it's a photo-opportunity the Minister of Health has no interest in it.
"It is extremely sad that the Minister of Health thinks issues like cancer waiting times or his failure to ensure doctors are engaged in the health system are not important enough for him to concern himself with.
"The National Government claimed they were going to save $700 million from cutting backroom services, so far the only thing that has been cut is frontline patient services.
"Then they claimed they were delivering record levels of elective surgery, only for that claim to be revealed as a desperate attempt to deal with the large numbers of patients being refused by ACC for surgery.
"So far Health Minister Tony Ryall has failed to deliver on a single health election promise.
"Patients and frontline health workers deserve a lot better than a Minister whose arrogance has blinded him to problems in the health sector," Ruth Dyson said.
Please find attached a copy of
the ASMS newsletter containing survey