Jonathan Coleman is fast running out of excuses for the sorry state of New Zealand’s public health system, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t receive correspondence from someone who is quite rightly outraged at being treated – as one patient put it – ‘like refuse at the tip’ or from health professionals frustrated at not being able to provide services.
The treatment of a Palmerston North man, admitted to Wellington hospital after a heart attack and expected to travel home on public transport in his pyjamas after being discharged, beggars belief but is symptomatic of a chronically underfunded health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
The patient, Ian Sutherland, was transferred by ambulance to Wellington Hospital from Palmerston North Hospital’s coronary care unit in August. He had been admitted to hospital wearing only slippers, pyjamas and a dressing gown. He had no money and no other clothes with him.
A Whangarei woman whose home care was cut from three hours a fortnight to just one and called in Red Cross in desperation after being unable to do her grocery shopping, is just one of many Kiwis cruelly affected by cuts to public health, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“My inbox is full of letters from people whose experiences with the health sector read like something from a horror movie script.
Thank you all for the opportunity to speak this evening.
Can I acknowledge fellow Labour MPs including Deputy Leader Annette King, Labour issues spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway, Spokesperson for the voluntary sector Poto Williams and Spokesperson for Youth Affairs, Louisa Wall.
Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.
“People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait for hours in the hallway of Dunedin Hospital is just the latest in a string of warning signs that something is very wrong in our health system.
Patients are being refused specialist treatment as cuts to health spending force more work onto GPs, Labour's Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“The Minister of Health admitted last month that health funding has not kept up with inflation and an independent Infometrics report found $1.7 billion has been cut in real terms by the National Government. This means New Zealanders are not getting access to the services they need and doctors are telling us their patients are being sent back from specialist appointments.
Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the last six budgets. A shortfall of $500 million this year means the sector’s funding has been slashed by $1.7 billion since 2010.