web analytics

Key lied on health cuts

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, November 3rd, 2011 - 12 comments
Categories: election 2011, health, john key - Tags:

In the TVNZ debate on Monday, John Key claimed that he had cut ‘back office’ jobs and increased health services.That wasn’t true. The fact is, funding cuts have reduced the capacity of many health services. ‘Front-line’ staff are doing ‘back office’ work as well and everything else is getting squeezed to put more money into ‘sexy’ elective surgery numbers.

Here’s the story:

Rehabilitation medicine consultant physician Jurriaan de Groot said he was left outraged at a statement made by Mr Key in a televised leaders debate that only administrative jobs had been cut from the public health service.

Mr Key made the comment after Labour leader Phil Goff pointed out that at the last election National promised to cap numbers in the public service – not cut them.

In response, Mr Key said: “We’ve cut administration in the public service. We have hired more doctors and nurses and midwives, and guess what? Cancer waiting times, times for treatment are down to four weeks.”

Dr de Groot said the slashing of MidCentral District Health Board’s rehabilitative Star Unit from 12 beds to eight, proved Mr Key was “wrong at best, deliberately misleading at worst”. “It certainly wasn’t just administrative services that were cut from there, the hospital lost a valuable resource expertise and they’ll never get it back.”

Dr de Groot ran the MidCentral rehab service for people under 65 for 16 years, but he said he left to set up his own practice early this year after cuts made to the service rendered his role impracticable.

Midway through last year, MidCentral District Health Board made the decision to cut Palmerston North Hospital’s under-65s rehabilitation unit from a 12-bed to an eight-bed unit – one of many cuts to rehabilitation services throughout the region after being told by the Health Ministry to cut $10 million of spending from its budget.

MidCentral Health had been subsidising the cost of providing more beds than it was contracted to do, and was only being paid $432 from the ministry a day, compared with $678 paid to other rehabilitation services.

“It was like them removing the string and the brass section from an orchestra and then saying `make do with that’ – I was effectively waving my wand to an empty room – so I think for John Key to stand there and say that is terrible.”

Dr de Groot made his comments as the owner and lead consultant of Central Rehabilitation Medicine Limited, however, he is also the New Zealand Branch chairman for the rehabilitation medicine faculty of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Palmerston North MP and Labour associate health spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said it was typical of National’s inability to see the big picture. “To me, it’s a direct consequence of National’s very narrow health policy. When the DHB was told `you’ve got to find $10 million worth of cuts’ they had no option but to take money out of important services and pump it into the target areas, all so they can look good on the league tables.”

12 comments on “Key lied on health cuts ”

  1. Carol 1

    Over 3 weeks, and still waiting for ACC to give approval for more physiotherapy for the signifcant injury to one of my limbs. Still no explanation from ACC as to why the non-approval – I keep asking. Is this the result of cuts to ACC funding/staffing?

  2. bankable 2

    James – Nice stretching of the “truth”

    Key was asked about public service job reductions. He said yes they have reduced public service jobs but that state sector jobs (doctors, nurses, policemen etc..) have been increased as that is in line with their priorities.

    He didn’t say that there hadn’t been changes to health service delivery. There have been numerous changes as Tony Ryall has outlined in press statements, budget papers, and DHBs have released in their annual reports and district annual plans. All publicly available information.

    You need to separate in your mind the difference between public service jobs (primarily Ministries and Departments), state sector jobs, and what are commonly referred to as “public services”. They all mean different things.

    • Ianupnorth 2.1

      Unfortunately you are very wrong; money has been slashed from prevention and rehab and transferred into ‘elective surgery’ and ‘decreased waiting times’.
       
      Yes Tony Ryall has produced some lovely, competitive table showing jolly nice improvements in numbers of people treated, what he is unable (or reluctant) to demonstrate are the stats in relation to obesity, type 11 diabetes, access to dentistry, skin infections, etc. All the diseases of poverty are on the rise.
       
      Money has been pinched from effective programmes to fund (and appease Tariana) whanau ora; they are now promising free out of ours visits for under 6’s – again, no new funding, slashes from undisclosed sources.

    • Craig Glen Eden 2.2

      Nice try but thats not what key said at all, Key said

      “We’ve cut administration in the public service. We have hired more doctors and nurses and midwives, and guess what? Cancer waiting times, times for treatment are down to four weeks.”

      As the Doctor pointed out above and Key admitted they have cut admin but they have also lost bed numbers in some services and when you loose bed numbers you can loose Doctors as in this case.

      Key did not say oh and yeah some Nurses and Doctors jobs may have gone he told the brighter future meme. What National have done is taken from some services in public health and given to others. Key wanted to leave the impression he ( National) had got rid of muppet’s that were not needed and whola more cancer services were able to be delivered as a result of more Nurses and Doctors in the health system, another words look how clever we are. Sad truth is National will leave bloddy great wholes as the always do and Labour will have to rebuild all over again.

  3. McFlock 3

    Well, actually it was Dr de Groot making the assertion, from first hand experience.
    Are you saying Key is more likely to tell the truth than Dr de Groot?
    Yeah, right.

  4. ron 4

    The picture inside health is repeated across the departments. “Back room” jobs have been slashed and budgets have been lowered. The consequence is that front line staff are fulfilling back room roles as well as their front line roles AND are expected to deliver more for less. The consequence of that is reduced services, appalling response times, mismanagement and chaos.
    Example. TEC. It is mid-November and TEC still have not released the details of next year’s contract for Youth Guarantees. Providers were given one week to submit their plan for next year with limited information. It is nigh on umpossible to talk to anyone in TEC. TEC staff don’t talk to MSD staff who don’t talk to NZQA staff. At a recent conference people arriving at the TEC session were told “if you’re looking for answers to what’s happening next year – you’re in the wrong place.”. MSD staff are charging around in TEC funded operations making illegal demands and threatening to pull contracts (that they don’t own). The contracts they have finalised – FFTO etc – are ridiculous in their expectations and will result in a large number of low skilled unemployed actually missing out on the training FFTO is designed to provide them because providers will aim at a more skilled group in order to ensure the increased targets are met.
    All of this is directly related to fewer staff being expected to deliver more with lower budgets.
    It’s the usual brainless, narrow Tory thinking.

  5. warren 5

    And another health service cut at MidCentral DHB in a letter I received from them today.
    Kidney patients treating themselves at home (which saves the health service a lot of money BTW) up until now had access to an after hours helpline if there are any difficulties carrying out their treatment. I have had to use this service in the past, and the matter was easily resolved upon receiving the advice of an on-call Renal nurse in a 2-minute phone call. Now they seriously expect people to travel from Wanganui to the Emergency Dept in Palmerston (80km away) to ask a question! This treatment is carried out 4 times per day including in evenings and weekends. So if you have a problem doing your last CAPD exchange at 10pm at night, do not have access to a car, how on earth do they expect you to get yourself from Wanganui to Palmerston North? There are no buses at that time. A taxi would cost around $300! Just to ask for advice! It’s unbelievable, and the media just don’t report the death of 1000 cuts like this going on at underfunded DHB’s around the country.

    • Vicky32 5.1

      Just to ask for advice! It’s unbelievable,

      Hell’s teeth, you’re right, that truly sucks…

  6. william 6

    Warren, how about posting the full communication you were sent about what to do now that the helpline is not available?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago