INDEPENDENT NEWS

Can Hodgson Cure Health?

Published: Wed 19 Oct 2005 04:07 PM
Can Hodgson Cure Health?
Heather Roy Wednesday,
19 October 2005
Press Releases - Health
"Incoming Health Minister Pete Hodgson has a huge job ahead of him in dealing with the health needs of New Zealanders" ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.
"I hope that Mr Hodgson will be the 'new broom' Kiwis need to clean up the health system.
"Hopefully he realises that the government’s previous strategy under Annette King is unsustainable and unrealistic with an aging population. Courage is needed to make the hard decisions necessary in Health.
"Under the previous Minister, Labour injected an extra $3.5 billion a year into health, but New Zealanders saw no increase in overall services or elective surgery as a result. Labour needs to take seriously areas that have been left struggling, especially aged care and mental health - the 'poor cousins' of New Zealand's health services. There are still 180,692 New Zealanders waiting for a First Specialist Assessment or treatment.
"Health bureaucracy has proliferated during Labour’s six years of power. The new Minister must show strong, effective leadership to the Ministry of Health. Taxpayer funding must assist front line staff and benefit patients.
"I also hope Mr Hodgson will break down the barriers that government has created between private and public health providers.
"A successful Minister would encourage people to take responsibility for their own health needs and provide incentives so that more people can afford health insurance", Mrs Roy said.
ENDS

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