Release: Health system an afterthought in 100-day plan

The Government has left the health system as an afterthought, announcing half-baked targets at the last minute of their 100-day plan, says Labour Health spokesperson Ayesha Verrall.

“Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has ignored the general practice and primary care, the part of the health system which Kiwis use the most. He has also described the primary care system as broken, but he has no target to see it improve,” Ayesha Verrall says.

“Doctors’ fees remain high, GP enrolments remain untenable, and prescription fees are returning. Those who need healthcare most desperately, and those with complex needs will not get the care they need.

“Emergency department and wait list targets have all been gamed in the past. The previous National Government booted people off wait lists to meet their targets, and we need to see a commitment to transparency so this does not happen again.

“The cancer treatment target doesn’t address the long wait times patients face for procedures before treatment decisions are made, but sets an easy to achieve target once these are done. Patients will remain bottle necked early on their cancer journey when they’re trying to get biopsies and scans.

“The Coalition Government’s health priorities are all wrong. They’ve brought back smoking and their targets are ineffective. We will be holding them to account on their progress, and demanding measures to ensure we get the truth about whether or not these targets are met – and when,” Ayesha Verrall said.