“If you haven’t been shuffled on a waiting list for your ethnicity there’s a reasonable chance you won’t receive the care you need anyway. New data shows that Te Whatu Ora is hopelessly underdelivering on planned care,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Written Parliamentary Questions answered by Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall show that between 01 July 2022 and 31 March 2023 Te Whatu Ora fell 16,130 procedures short of its planned volume of 132,469.

“Only two of 12 areas of care met their targets. Areas such as Orthopaedics and Ear, Nose and Throat were thousands away from meeting their targets.

“The health system is slipping away from first world status and the Government seems uninterested in fixing it. It is focussed on a costly administrative restructure and prioritising waiting lists by ethnicity when neither of these things are improving Kiwis’ access.

“This collapse in standards is part of a gradual decline in New Zealand’s prosperity. In recent years New Zealand has been training 40 per cent fewer medical professionals per capita than Australia.

“The vultures are circling as New Zealand loses its first world status. Australian states are aggressively advertising for health professionals to cross the ditch, and with the higher pay available people will continue to leave.

“People like to think of New Zealand as a first world country but our income figures tell a different story. Until we have a government focussed on economic growth we will continue to see tragedies in our health system.

“Having better health services will take a change of direction for New Zealand. ACT’s Alternative Budget for Real Change shows a plan to arrest the decline and grow the economy. It would get the country back into surplus and allows New Zealanders to keep more of their income to invest.

“It will take real change to stop the decline from first world status and make our health system one New Zealanders can have faith in again.”

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