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The new Health Minister needs to start walking the talk and explain what the Government’s plans are for health – if there are any, National’s Health Spokesperson Jonathan Coleman says.

“Let’s be fair, he’s only been in the job five weeks, but it’s worrying that he hasn’t hit the ground running with any plans, is already back peddling on election commitments and is struggling to give direct answers to questions,” says Dr Coleman.

“Question Time today provided a typical example of Dr Clarke’s refusal, or worse, inability, to front up to any questions.

“In response to a media report that claimed that despite campaigning on an obesity target he is now ‘non-committal’ on whether the Government will set a target let alone what it will be, all he says is that ‘such reports are inaccurate’.

“In response to a separate media report that claims that he is reneging on election commitments to establish a surgical mesh registry, he just avoided the question.

“He needs to start answering questions on work that might or might not be underway.

“After nine years to prepare themselves, Labour should have started day one with a clear health plan. Instead, all they’ve done is announce an advisory group to tell them what the plan should be.

“The New Zealand public are going to want a lot more than that from the new Minister.”

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