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Patients Won't Be Able To Get Treatment - Labour

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Ruth Dyson
Ruth Dyson

Wellington, Nov 19 NZPA - Patients will not be able to get treatment because of cuts to health funding, Labour says.

However, Health Minister Tony Ryall said there would be no cuts.

They were responding to a report that papers for an Auckland District Health Board (DHB) committee meeting yesterday indicated spending cuts of between 5 and 10 percent might have to be made.

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell said senior doctors agreed with the Government's desire to improve the effectiveness of health spending through measures such as increasing leadership in the system.

"But cutting funding will undermine this commendable objective," he said in a statement.

"Health cuts don't heal. Instead they hurt patients, stress out health professionals and become more expensive."

Labour MP Ruth Dyson said District Health Boards were "preparing to turn thousands of patients away".

She agreed that funding cutbacks would not result in savings.

More people would end up in hospital with chronic conditions, she said.

"Keeping people well is meant to be the priority for the health sector, not just patching them up when they finally make it to hospital."

Mr Ryall said there would be no funding cuts in health next year.

"There will be more money in vote health next year, in the vicinity of hundreds of millions of dollars.

"I've also received an assurance from the chairman of the Auckland DHB Pat Snedden that any savings made within the Auckland DHB would be ploughed back into frontline services."

A spokeswoman for Mr Ryall said like all DHBs, Auckland would receive more money next year, although the increase would be lower than this year's 7 percent (which equated to $60 million).

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