National's "me too" rural health policy
"Sadly for rural New Zealand, National could only bring itself to support four new initiatives, not the full 10 in Labour's Plan.
"For nine long years, National has neglected the health needs of rural communities. Now less than four weeks from an election, it is coming up with a 'new' policy.
"All it has done is steal some of the sensible ideas already announced by Labour. But as usual with National there is a negative side to the ledger. The policy doesn't mention the plans to cut the Rural Pharmacy subsidy in the South Island.
"Rural people won't be fooled by this cynical manoeuvring. They won't forget the removal of health services from their areas, the lack of support for overworked rural GPs and the ill-informed healthcare decisions made by bureaucrats in Wellington, with no input from the local community. That is why Labour will let local people have a say through local boards.
"After nine years of neglect, National is trying to put on a caring face. It's all too late; its traditional supporters in rural New Zealand have already abandoned National.
"Only a Labour-led Government will be committed to rebuilding our public health system and giving rural communities equity of access to services," Annette King said.