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Report Shows That Labour Never Learns

Posted on 07 Oct 2008

Health Minister David Cunliffe's comments today - that he will spend an additional $50 million to increase the level of cardiac surgery being performed in New Zealand - show his complete mis-understanding of the real issues facing Health services in New Zealand, ACT Deputy Leader and Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"Labour has learned no lessons over its nine-year term in government and has poured almost $6 billion of extra funding into Health - almost $1 billion in the June 2007-08 year alone - for little or no result," Mrs Roy said.

"Now we have the 'Cardiac Surgery Services in New Zealand' report, which reveals that New Zealand lags behind the rest of the world in the provision of cardiac surgery - and Mr Cunliffe's only answer is to throw even more money at the problem through, what he has called, a reallocation of funding within the Health budget.

"According to the report:
'the provision of cardiac surgery involves a complex chain of human and physical resources.  Cancellation of cardiac surgery due to one link in the chain being missing is inefficient and planning of resources must build in buffers to avoid these inefficient cancellations and maximise productivity'.

"Labour has failed patients, and is failing in the provision of cardiac surgery.  The most vital link missing in that chain is human resources - the nurses, doctors and other health professionals working at the coalface.

"New Zealand has spent the past decade training health professionals for export.  Our failing economy and increasingly expensive cost of living - not to mention Labour's mis-management of the Health portfolio - is driving our best and brightest offshore in search of greener pastures.

"The only way we will fix Health and catch up to the rest of the world is to grow the economic cake bigger.  Then - and only then - can we keep our medical graduates from leaving, and bring those who have moved offshore home," Mrs Roy said.


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