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Radical Health Bill Requires More Time For Public Scrutiny

Unrealistic timelines around the restructure of the New Zealand healthcare system reinforces the disconnect the Government has with the realities facing New Zealanders.

"The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill proposes a radical overhaul of the structure and management of healthcare services, including the establishment of both Health New Zealand and a Māori health authority to replace the current district health boards," says Democracy Action spokesperson Lee Short. "This initiative will introduce a disturbing differentiation of health services, based on race."

"At a time when the health sector is being required to prepare for the impact of opening Auckland borders and record case numbers, the Minister of Health Andrew Little is expecting submissions for the Bill by 9 December. Allowing just six weeks for submissions on this significant legislation is yet another instance of the Government’s lack of respect for the democratic process."

"Good law making is reliant on the quality of engagement and the ability of citizens, particularly those most affected, to fully consider effects and respond. This will not be possible at a time when those most closely connected will be constrained by current demands on services to commit adequate time and resources to the preparation of quality submissions.

Creating uncertainty and instability for the health sector during a pandemic should be taken as an affront to New Zealanders who have sacrificed so much to navigate these trying times."

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