September 20, 2023
Politics by numbers Reti target
National’s health spokesperson, Shane Reti, is refusing to give Labour credit for improvements in hospital waiting lists.
Health Minister Ayesha Verrall says all areas have now cleared those waiting more than thee years, and in Auckland the list of people who have waited over a year for elective surgery is down to zero, with other hospital areas working hard to catch up.
Dr Reti says when National handed over in 2017 there only 1000 people waiting more than four moths for a first specialist assessment, whereas there are now more than 50,000.
“And there’s a number of reasons for that, including a Covid contribution of course, but also policy decisions made by the Government which have contributed to the waiting lists. They need to own that. They need to take responsibility. There is any number of reasons including removing the focus on targets,” he says.
Minister Verrall says Dr Reti and the National Party needed to assure New Zealand it would fund the health system properly rather than the austerity approach it took when last in power.