What is Ryall up to?
Plan for surgery superhubs
The greater Wellington region could get its own surgery "super-centre" to help tackle waiting lists. Three Auckland district health boards gave Health Minister Tony Ryall their proposal yesterday to build the first new centres dedicated to elective, or non-urgent, surgery. They are now preparing a formal business case. Mr Ryall said it would be the first "cluster" in the Government's plan for 20 new elective surgery theatres. National is planning to spend about $180 million over five years.
I don’t trust Mr Ryall at all, if there is anyone with skeletons in the intellectual closet, it’s him (ask Georgina). Here’s the run down, I tagged him as ‘the great communicator’ a year before the election when he hosted a press release with John Key to launch National’s Health policy, embarrassingly Ryall didn’t seem to have noticed that his policy would lift restrictions on what Drs could charge, something Journalists gleefully and mercilessly exploited during the painfully uncomfortable press conference, (Key didn’t go on to do another set press conference till the election after that debacle). Then just before the election, Mallard got hold of their Health policy (with a couple of others he’d managed to ‘find’) and the Nats released theirs before Trevor could, but the interesting thing between the two was that in Mallards version the new 20 elective theatres were there, but in the one National released they mysteriously disappeared. This led me to suggest that what National actually had in plan was a health private-public partnership (the current euphemism for privatization) and with Ryall’s near impossible new standards he’s imposed, which Public Health providers will not be able to met without extra funding, one gets the sense that Ryall is setting the Public Health sector up to fail and claim in the interests of competition he’ll open the tendering process up to the private health sector. It will be interesting to see what the tendering process will throw up.