Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Treaty not the biggest healthcare issue


“Today’s health review announcement from the Government has failed to address the real issues facing New Zealanders,” says ACT’s Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Amalgamating the DHBs into one organisation is a positive step forward, but all the Government is doing is shifting the issues of 20 DHBs to one organisation. We needed to address the real issues in the system not just shift them around.

“The Government had a huge opportunity today. But none of the changes will lead to reducing waiting lists, improve maintenance of our buildings and assets, or upgrade our ICT systems.

“These are the real issues facing the health system - not the Treaty of Waitangi. A separate Māori Health Authority will only prove to be divisive. ACT believes that diversity should be addressed when we deliver health care.

“We have more than two races in New Zealand. What about the health needs of Chinese and Indian New Zealanders?”

ACT would:

  • Publicly subsidise more of the common elective surgeries in private hospitals through competitive tender
  • Establish Mental Health and Addiction New Zealand (MHANZ), a standalone agency on a national scale, empowering patients to choose between a range of providers, rather than simply accepting what their DHB offers
  • Use lease back arrangements to get hospitals built with private capital as the public system has proven inadequate at maintaining its buildings.

“There was a real opportunity here to do the right thing for our communities. Instead we have just shifted the problems from the regions to Wellington which will not improve the lives of New Zealanders.”