Government Putting Lives at Risk

Published: Fri 4 Aug 2000 11:45 AM
Government Putting Lives at Risk
Mr Shirley said he was sickened to hear of ye
t another person, elderly Wellington pensioner Joyce Julius, who was forced to pay out $16,000 for life-saving surgery after being twice turned away from Wellington Hospital because of staff shortages.
The plight of Mrs Julius came just two days after Mr Shirley raised the issue of a Tauranga woman who was forced to pay money out her own pocket and travel to Australia for urgent life-saving treatment because she could not receive prompt service in New Zealand due to staff rostering difficulties.
He also referred to another recent case of a Bay of Plenty woman, forced to travel to Canterbury for urgent treatment.
“I would like to know what is the acceptable number of deaths before Health Minister Annette King decides she had better do something,” Mr Shirley said
“The Minister should be working on strategies to harness the combined capacities of both the public and private health sectors for the benefit of all New Zealanders. Instead Ms King seems more keen on preaching leftist dogma about how only the state can deliver publicly-funded health care.
“Meanwhile people like Joyce Julius are forced to spend their life-savings on treatment at a hospital which the Government refuses to support because it is in the private sector.
“What the Government should be saying in such cases is that there is a perfectly efficient private hospital handy that can provide you with the treatment you so desperately need and funding will be provided,” Mr Shirley said.
Mr Shirley said he was convinced there would be more “horror” stories about people in the same situation as Mrs Julius and he wanted to hear about their concerns.

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