Labour yearning for quality healthcare
‘‘Too many people are missing out...That's unacceptable.’’
Labour Party health spokesman Dr David Clark has held a public meeting with East Aucklanders at Edgewater College.
Attendees shared their personal experiences with the health system and made a wish list for future improvements.
Their major concerns include delayed diagnosis or treatment, disparities between different ethnic groups and regions, and the lack of consultation, information and other support for patients and their families.
They would also like to have access to government-subsidised health insurance and see the establishment of a new hospital in or around Auckland.
Clark says the public health system is underfunded and the money in it should be better spent.
Should Labour return to government, it would put $8 billion more into the health sector over the next four years, he says.
To facility equality between different groups and provide better care to every Kiwi, he’s looking to ‘‘institutionalise more granular data analysis into the unmet need of the populations’’.
He believes in taking account of people’s health in the policymaking of other government branches, such as education, housing and justice.
‘‘Lots of other areas have an effect on overall health outcomes more than just the health system itself. One thing that sits on front of our policy is that we want to have health in all policies,’’ Clark says.
A review of the health system is needed, Clark believes, and he’ll organise a health summit within the first 100 days of becoming the health minister, if voted in.
‘‘I want to call together the whole sector and have a conversation about the kind of change we need to make.’’
On his long to-do list is making sure everyone has ‘‘affordable access to quality healthcare’’.
‘‘Too many people are missing out. We know that over 500,000 New Zealanders last year didn’t get access to a GP for reasons of cost. That’s unacceptable.’’
He knows of mental health problems and challenges in this part of Auckland given several participants have put forward the issue. Other areas he wants to improve include age care, cancer care and emergency services.
A dean at Edgewater College, Clint Samaseia, who attended the meeting, says he hopes the functions of the Ministry of Health can work alongside edu- cation to support children.
Labour has encouraging statements, Samaseia says, but ‘‘needs to make sure that there is clarity in those things’’.
The Labour Party’s candidate for Botany, Tofik Mamedov, spokesman for health Dr David Clark, and candidate for Pakuranga Barry Kirker at the public meeting on health.