August 03, 2023
Health spend mental says Jones
New Zealand First Northland candidate Shane Jones says the health system needs to be stripped of responsibility for capital projects and building because it has proved itself incapable of delivering projects within cost and on time.
He says evidence is the $1.9 billion allocated five years ago for mental health services, which in the case of Northland had failed to deliver even one additional residential bed.
He compares it with the Provincial Growth Fund.
“If I had used the $3 billion fund in the profligate, unaccountable, arguably reckless way that $1.89 billion (was used) I would have been hung, drawn and quartered and destroyed. Not even the audit department, the Auditor General’s Office, could work out where that money deserved,” Mr Jones says.
He says splitting the system health into the Health Ministry, Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand and Te Aka Wahi Ora the Maori Health Authority was justifiable given past performance, but the proof will be in whether it can make a measurable difference to health outcomes.