The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark.
“These people are entitled to the reassurance that if they have serious eye problems like glaucoma it’s not worsening and they are not at risk of losing their vision.
“What is truly worrying about this is that eye specialists do not know just how serious some of the cases are amongst the 9,500 that are waiting.
“The fact that the Minister had to wait until it became a media issue is another indictment of his time at the helm. He failed to give the country’s DHBs any additional funding for nearly six months to clear their backlogs.
“It is not good enough in 2017 that we had nearly 70 New Zealanders who had a significant deterioration in their eyesight due to delays in getting an appointment.
“The Government’s failure to act quickly has jeopardised the eyesight of Kiwis. This is another disaster for the Minister. We cannot risk National running down our Health system for another three years.
“Only a Labour Government and the reinvestment of an extra $8 billion into Health will see the system get the resources we need in the future,“ says David Clark.