$700 million urgently needed to boost public health system

New analysis by the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) shows the National Government needs to invest massively in the health sector in the upcoming Budget, just to maintain services at current levels, the Green Party said today.

The CTU and Association of Salaried Medical Specialists prepared a pre-Budget analysis showing that Vote Health’s operational expenses would need to rise by nearly $700 million to maintain the health services New Zealand currently has. Their analysis takes into account growing costs, and population pressures including the ageing population.

“This Government has failed to fund health properly, and there will be real-life consequences for all New Zealanders if National doesn’t stump up with a massive health investment on Thursday,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

“This Government has continually put off making long-term investments in New Zealanders’ health, such as taking action on child poverty or obesity, and there will be delayed costs for these kinds of issues down the line.

“The Health Budget is under continuing and severe pressure. District Health Boards are having to perform miraculous feats to ensure that New Zealanders’ healthcare services are maintained, and key services such as mental health are falling through the cracks.

“Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are being forced to make do with less and less, all because this Government is determined to cut corners wherever it thinks it can get away with it.

“This Budget is the ideal time for the National Government to make a real, sustained investment in our public health system. The CTU’s analysis shows that anything less is going to have dire consequences for all of us who rely on the public health system,” said Mr Hague. 

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