Q+A: health debate – Coleman & Clark

On Q+A this morning: Who has the best policies for our health system?
Watch our health debate – Political Editor Corin Dann with Labour’s Dr David Clark and National’s Dr Jonathan Coleman.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, glasses

Coleman and Clark also featured on The Nation yesterday (repeated this morning at 10:00 am).

Labour on health:


Additional $8 billion investment in health over four years

See the details in our fiscal plan here.

Cut GP fees by $10 a visit with $8 GP visits for Community Services Card holders

From 1 July 2018, Labour will lower the cost of GP visits by $10 through:

  • Lowering the VLCA fee cap by $10 to $8 for adults and $2 for teens (under 13s are already free), with a funding increase to VLCA practices to cover this
  • Increasing government funding for all practices that lower their fees by $10, low (show all)

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National responded to Labour’s $8b:

Labour’s mythical $8b extra health spend

The Labour Party has been trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes with its mythical $8 billion extra health spend, National Party Health spokesman Dr Jonathan Coleman says.

“The ‘$8 billion more’ health spending argument is smoke and mirrors. They are simply rolling out normal baseline increases and comparing them with a mythical situation of an alternative government that apparently doesn’t add a single dollar to health expenditure for four years. That’s laughable and has simply never happened,” Dr Coleman says.

“The Labour massive extra spending myth also shows up in the amount of new budget money they propose to add each year. Labour is planning to add less in health for each year in the next four years than the National Government has added in the last budget alone.

National new budget operating spend (actual):

  • 2017/18        $879 million

Labour proposed new budget operating spend:

  • 2018/19        $847 million
  • 2019/20        $689 million
  • 2020/21        $826 million
  • 2021/22        $795 million

“The reality is every government makes big increases to the health budget. Of course it’s all about what you do with the money rather than the money itself. And the National Government has an absolute focus on lifting results from the health investments we make.

“The irony is that whether you measure by our respective history of results or just the dollars, when you compare Labour’s proposed plan with National’s track record New Zealanders would receive less from the health sector under Labour.”

Leave a comment


  1. Zedd

     /  3rd September 2017

    more fear mongering & ‘we know everything’ from the right.. esp. M Boag ‘the expert’ :/

  2. Blazer

     /  3rd September 2017

    Coleman exemplifies the party line.We have been in power for 9 years ,but have only just noticed the deficiences in our policies.We promise we will now address them all….honest,just vote us back in..again.

    • Zedd

       /  3rd September 2017

      also.. natz claim to be ‘of the right’ but are often called ‘Labour light’; their policies are exactly that, so centrist.. they seem to have almost forgotten which side they are supposedly on ! 😦

  3. Like with the education debate both shadow ministers were on the back foot. Hipkins put up a more composed argument, but said, effectively, nothing. Clark said more,( he does), but it seemed to me still a money over substance position.

    Health – major is Mental Health. It seems very clear that 90% of problems are drug related. We need to have a bigger more comprehensive ambulance at the bottom of that cliff as lemmings have bolted over the Meth cliff.

    Again, I’ll say it. The sheer number of leaders and changes within the Party have meant they’re woefully lacking in detail.

    • John Schmidt

       /  3rd September 2017

      It annoys the hell out of me that the blowout of the Mental Health segiment of the Health Budget is due to the impact of P upon the idiots who take this or participate with any other substance abuse and then expect me to pickup the cost of this abuse once it all turns to custard.
      It equally annoys me that the people pushing this shit also expect me to be tolerant of their legal rights when it comes to catching them and holding them to account for their actions all the while expecting me to pay the social cost.


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