INDEPENDENT NEWS

Health Minister still offers no answers

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2004 03:45 PM
Health Minister still offers no answers
Tuesday 30 Nov 2004
Heather Roy -Press Releases -Health
Health Minister Annette King today failed to explain to New Zealanders why health services have only increased marginally, despite a seven percent rise in hospital spending, ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.
"Today in Parliament, I asked Annette King to respond to a Treasury report on the performance of her 21 District Health Boards, which showed that between 1 July 2003 and the end of June 2004, hospital service outputs had risen only 1.5 percent, despite a large 7 percent funding increase.
"The Minister's replies were typically full of bluff and bluster, but she still hasn't accounted for why there has been such a drop in productivity - despite pouring millions more taxpayer dollars into the system," Mrs Roy said.
"For Annette King it is a case of déjà vu after last year's Treasury report also revealed serious concerns over hospital productivity.
"These reports show a disturbing trend of more money being thrown at the system, with no improvement in health services for New Zealanders. This is only going to get worse as DHB budgets come under further pressure with the Holidays Act, the introduction of pay parity, and hospital workers' national awards being established.
"The New Zealand health system has gone from bad to worse under Annette King. Her record is shameful. The number of Kiwis who have died on waiting lists has doubled; those who have given up waiting and gone private has trebled; while 1,454 have waited more than two years on Active Review - Helen Clark's waiting list for the waiting list.
"Hospital productivity will continue to decline, and waiting lists will continue to grow unless Helen Clark sacks Annette King. Under the current Health Minister the health system is destined for a full-blown medical crisis," Mrs Roy said.
ENDS

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