New Zealand Labour Party

A real heart stopper?

The story of a Hamilton man who jumpstarted his heart with an electric fencing unit may be a classic bit of ‘number 8’ wire thinking but it also reveals a lot about our stressed health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.


“It is alarming to read Kiwi John Griffin had to use his neighbour’s 8000 volt electric fence to jumpstart his heart after having to wait hours at Waikato Hospital for treatment.

“While it’s easy to applaud John’s DIY attitude it shows that our hospitals are no longer coping. His irregular heartbeat was a serious health risk and could have led to a stroke.


“He was forced to wait two hours for care and then was told he would have to hang around for a further six hours. While I sympathize with overworked hospital staff the delay in this case  is just unacceptable.


“The Waikato District Health Board has said in its latest board minutes that a surplus just isn’t deliverable because costs have grown at a faster rate than government funding. They earlier forecasted a surplus but it has been wiped out.


“Across the country our DHBs are forecasting a year-end deficit of $85.9 million.


“The Government has to restore the $1.7 billion of health funding lost over the last eight years and make sure patients like John are safe,” says David Clark.