Asked about the funding of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, the Associate Minister of Health was at sea today on the typhoid outbreak, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.
“When I asked Nicky Wagner who was responsible for the health funding spend on the outbreak, which has tragically taken a life and left 18 people infected, all she could say was ‘it will be decided in the thorough debrief afterwards’.This is extraordinary because Governments of every stripe have considered themselves responsible for the taxpayer’s money they spend.
“The truth of the matter is that spending on public health services has lagged behind population growth. Staff grew by just 2.7 per cent while Auckland’s population grew by 5.7 per cent in the past three years.
“The Associate Minister has to remember that the Government is responsible for the funding of public health services.
“Clearly the Ministeris out of the loop on the warnings about typhoid. Whanau Ora’s Pasifika commissioning agency has said they weren’t talked to about the outbreak at all.
“We have a catalogue of mistakes by this Government with family members not being informed, the Minister finding out about the outbreak from television news and key agencies left in the dark.
“The number of confirmed cases has risen from 11 on Monday to 18 today and the Minister could not give a categorical assurance there won’t be more.
“Jonathan Coleman has to step up and take control. It’s day six of him knowing about this outbreak. What is he doing?” asks David Clark.