What Tony Ryall doesn’t know

A crucial part of the role of any Minister is to know what is happening in their area of responsibility.

It seems that Tony Ryall, however, is taking a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ approach to being the Minister of Health.

My previous blog posts on what Tony Ryall doesn’t want to answer and what Tony Ryall doesn’t want to do and what Tony Ryall doesn’t want to spend didn’t quite capture the whole frustrations of trying to hold a Minister to account when he so doesn’t want to be.

I thought it would be good to put together a list of things that we have asked the Minister about that he doesn’t know the answer to. As you will see, some of them are pretty crucial to our health system.

What the Minister won’t answer:

  • My letter to him on total obesity funding and whether or not he mislead the House when he said that  “we announced a $35.5 million boost of new funding over 4 years for New Zealanders with or at risk of developing diabetes, pre-diabetes, and heart disease. This is in addition to the other funding that the Government invests in initiatives to encourage New Zealanders to make healthy changes to their lifestyles.” We think this $35.5 million is part of the existing funding, not new at all.
  •  My correspondence with his office on the issue of collecting doctor vacancy rates and why he doesn’t do so.
  • My written questions on what advice he received or sought on various aspects of the Very Low Cost Access scheme. He said “I am kept appraised of the progress of the VLCA scheme in briefings, as appropriate” – which is not exactly an illuminating answer, but one he stuck to under further questioning.

Things the Minister hasn’t sought advice on.

Things the Minister has no opinion on or plans to do:

Things which are awfully convenient for the Minister and Ministry not to know:

At least he’s pretty consistent with his non-answering. Jan Logie’s questions on the review of standards for doctors’ behaviour in the light of sexual offending against patients got a similar brush off.

It’s impossible to capture in a concise way the extent of Ryall’s obfuscation as the Minister of Health.  But his responses here do paint a picture of a Minister who cares more about the politics of health statistics than he does about the actual people which those statistics represent.

About Kevin Hague 163 Articles

Green Party Member of Parliament

4 Comments Posted

  1. I see Ryall & the rest of the ‘Key-party’ in a similar light to the Republicans in USA, tried to shut down the Govt. if they wanted to advance ‘Obama-care’. Its all about the profit margin to their version of NZ inc.
    They are slowly but surely moving the country further right & towards users pays (for everything). I’m sure they would privatise the hospitals & all schools if they thought they could get away with it..
    “You can fool some of the people ALL the time, ALL the people sometimes, BUT not ALL the people ALL the time !”

    Fingers crossed in 2014.. Green/Labour Govt.
    Kia-ora Koutou

  2. Are you suggesting, Frances, that a human life only has worth if it can produce a profit. Politicians would fail on that score as they produce nothing and run up huge debts on our behalf as would all public servants who rely on tax money from those who make products that can be sold. I was suffering from morbid obesity which is a medical condition. Think before you visit McDonalds again before you pass judgement. Tony Ryalls health ministry prevented me getting life saving surgery because I had not yet developed diabetes! If I had got diabetes it would have made it much more dangerous to have surgery. As it is my health costs to the taxpayer have dramatically decreased and I am becoming a much more valuable, contributing member of society. Because I was able to pay for my own surgery I have lost over 75 kilos so far and my energy levels and life expectancy have massively increased. The only drawback is that instead of not reaching an age to claim super I will now live to 90 years of age plus, thus costing you all some 30 years for my pension!! Be careful about what you wish for…

  3. Surgery for obesity to prevent the onset of diabetes is not a priority for the government in my experience. I was 172 kgs and only 1.66m tall and my GP told me I might live till I was 63. At the time I was 57 years old. I approached my local hospital only to be told that since I was not already a diabetic I was not eligible for surgery. Thanks to an inheritance I was able to go private, lost over 75kgs in 15 months and my GP has upgraded my life expectancy to 90+ !! If I had gone with the public health system I would have developed diabetes, still been ineligible because of my age and be down to the last 4 years of my life, costing the state an absolute bomb for all my other health issues. Tony is so useless as minister of health he really ryalls me up!!

  4. Key govt is wondering; WHY can’t we profit from sick people? It’s so frustrating…if we need to waste (invest) any money on these people/problems, we want to see financial returns (profits)…Where is it? must dig further…wahaha!

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