It is a damning indictment of the Government’s priorities that the racing industry is getting more additional funding in Budget 2020 than Pharmac, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says

“On Sunday the Government gave Pharmac an extra $10 million for the next financial year, today we learnt that Winston Peters is giving racing multiple times that.

“There is going to be increased pressure for medicines as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and we need to be prepared. It is insulting to give more money to horses than health during a pandemic.

“We welcome the much-needed funding for our District Health Boards (DHBs) this morning. But DHBs had a net deficit of over $1 billion last year and this funding isn’t even going to cover that.

“The financial performance of our DHBs has nosedived under this Government and as a result there has been increased wait times, scrapped health targets and delayed elective surgeries.

“Covid-19 has created even more pressure on our health system, with a significant backlog of missed surgeries and screenings needing to be caught up on.

“It will take a long time to clear this backlog and the Government’s record on delivering health outcomes is poor.

“Our DHBs have been left between a rock and a hard place by a Minister who has let them sink into enormous deficits over the past two years. And now we’re seeing the Government prioritise horses over essential medicines.”

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