Reading between Ryall’s lines reveals real story
Annette King | Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 16:34
Health Minister Tony Ryall is trying to play the public for fools with a deluge of fact-lite ‘success’ stories, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“Mr Ryall is running scared. In the last few days he has released a raft of media statements hoping to demonstrate his portfolio is in robust health.
“Unfortunately professionals dealing with the fallout of his target-focused regime know otherwise.
“Take for instance the fact charities have been forced to step in to pick up the cost of the rheumatic screening programme in some areas because allocated funding has yet to be paid out. Meanwhile others are funding bandages and dressings for children with skin infections in Northland and South Auckland because government funding is not enough, or paying for medicines where families can’t afford Mr Ryall’s new $5 prescription charges.
‘Then there’s the 46 per cent of respondents to a national ‘quality’ of life survey who said the reason they didn’t go to a doctor in the last year, despite needing to, was because it was too expensive. The figure was even higher in Christchurch, with 55 per cent not making a doctor’s appointment because they couldn’t afford it.
“Add to that the fact that emergency departments in some of our biggest hospitals are struggling to reach waiting time targets because of staff shortages and some smaller hospitals are facing downgrading, and you’ve hardly got a success story.
“Mr Ryall - like others on National’s front bench of late - has tried to finger past Labour governments. Harping back to a previous era won’t change a thing.
“Tony Ryall needs to man up and take responsibility for his own decisions.”