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.