Labour’s election promises for health


Currently, the government is using Middlemore hospital as a distraction and as a possible excuse for their future inability to deliver on their own spending promises, so I thought that now would be the perfect time to have a look at what exactly it was that they promised the New Zealand public.


Given the song and dance, the government are currently making about Middlemore hospital we can only wonder which of their election health promises are going to get the chop and the blame laid at the feet of the previous government.

  • Will it be free mental health care in the community that will be cut?
  • Will they scrap their commitment to creating a surgical mesh registry?
  • Will they be unable to fund both mainstream and Rainbow community support groups for suicide prevention?
  • Will they have to cancel the two-year pilot scheme to place mental health teams at eight sites?
  • Will they have to cancel the pilot scheme to put counsellers inside primary schools?
  • Will they have to cancel the free counselling for under twenty-five-year-olds?
  • Will they be unable to spend $193 million over three years to put health workers or nurses in schools?

All these election Health promises that Labour made, they said they could afford because they would reverse what they misleadingly called National’s $1.7 billion dollars worth of health cuts.

If there really was $1.7 billion dollars floating around then they would easily be able to fund all their election health promises but that money doesn’t actually exist. What Labour referred to as National’s health cuts were, in reality, no such thing. In reality, the $1.7 billion dollars was the difference between what National was in fact, spending on health and what the Labour party had decided that they should be spending on health.

This number that Labour pulled out of their magical fiscal hat was not based on what National actually had available in their budget to spend on health. It was mythical money that didn’t in fact exist. It was a wishful thinking budget of what the Labour party would like to spend on health.

Now that Labour is in government they are finding out that mythical money and wishful thinking isn’t very useful when it comes to meeting their election promises.

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