INDEPENDENT NEWS

National loses control of its own health policy

Published: Fri 5 Nov 1999 11:57 AM
National has created a bureaucratic health monster which is out of control and running amok, Labour health spokesperson Annette King said today.
"The Health Funding Authority's decision to stop issuing contracts to new pharmacies is another illustration, if one was needed, of why the HFA has to go.
"Health Minister Wyatt Creech has timidly written to the HFA with the reminder that policy issues are the responsibility of the Government, not the authority.
"His National Government has lost control of its own health policy. It is being run by a committee of unelected, faceless company directors. All the Government can do is write pathetic letters to these 'administrators' to remind them who is supposed to be in charge.
"It just keeps happening. Mr Creech had no idea that the HFA was buying $1000 chairs and spending $7.5 million on fancy new offices until after the deals were done.
"Labour's policy of disbanding the HFA and absorbing its functions back into the Ministry of Health will create clearer lines of accountability. A Labour Government will show strong leadership in health policy and will get rid of unnecessary layers of management and bureaucracy.
"It is time for Mr Creech to admit he has lost control of his portfolio and that the changes proposed by Labour are desperately needed," Annette King said.

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