Thanks Jim

released ’s draft policy yesterday, and look at the headlines:

Nats plan spending spree on health

Surgery boost promised in Nats’ health policy

Seriously you can’t buy headlines that good.

The policy details, as leaked to date, are:

  • over $100 million a year of taxpayers’ money on new health projects
  • a spending spree on new operating theatres – building 20 operating theatres over three years. Capital cost $165 million over four years.
  • Training an extra 750 health workers. Cost around $20 million a year.
  • Giving a 30 per cent health insurance rebate, up to $500 a year, to those aged 65 or older. Cost $40 million a year at first.
  • Gradually increasing medicines funding to match Australia’s per-head level. Initial boost of $20 million a year.
  • Prostate cancer testing programme for men over 50 with a close family history of the disease. Not costed.
  • Developing a dental assistance programme for over-65s. Not costed.
  • Giving an extra $15 million to hospices.
  • more state-funded use of private hospitals
  • a star-rating system for district health boards
  • the number of bureaucrats would be capped
  • losses of health workers overseas would gradually reduce because of tax cuts
  • voluntary bonding would be offered in return for student loan debt write-offs in hard-to-staff places and specialties
  • will maintain the Government’s budgeted health spending projections – “not a dollar less than Labour”.
  • maintain the current universal GP subsidy system, including the fees review process
  • fund Plunketline
  • funding 12 month access to breast cancer drug herceptin

This is only the draft policy of course, but I can’t wait until the final policy is released. More theatres, more medical staff, more medicines funding and a rebate for over 65s who have private health insurance – all going to be damn popular.

UPDATE: National has now released the official policy, or at least part one of it.

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