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Tony Ryall produces ghost doctors


Health Spokesperson

18 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT

Tony Ryall produces ghost doctors

Tony Ryall needs to provide specific details of where his 800 extra “ghost” doctors will be found, following a strong reaction against his claims by specialist doctors at their conference yesterday, Labour’s Health spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“The Minister has been touring the country making claims about the extra doctors that he says National has provided.

“But people working at the frontline haven’t seen any evidence of Mr Ryall’s ‘ghost’ doctors, and they are the ones you would expect to know about these things.

“It’s time Tony Ryall stopped coming over all mystical and showed New Zealanders exactly where the additional doctors are, and how he calculated how many there were,” Grant Robertson said.

“The medical profession is concerned that his counting of ‘extra’ staff includes existing employees who have had their employment arrangements change, for example, locum doctors becoming employees or nurses previously employed by agencies becoming staff members at DHBs.

“If these claims are correct, then producing a figure like 800 extra doctors is misleading.

“This kind of creative accounting has repeatedly been used by the Minister as part of his spin around the health sector.

“He has previously tried to claim that funding in the 2011 Budget was enough to meet the cost of inflation and an ageing population. Yet under questioning in Parliament he had to admit that $156 million of that money for this year came from cuts to other budgets.

“Tony Ryall should drop the spin, give specific detail of his ‘extra’ doctors and nurses, and face up to the real workforce issues that are facing the New Zealand health system,” Grant Robertson said.


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