Niue Premier Proposes Health Privatization

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Part of budget debate and opposed by many MPs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 26, 2014) – MPs in Niue have been left mystified by the Premier Toke Talagi's suggestion the Government sell off the island's hospital and health services.

This comes as the Fono debates a Budget of nearly 22 million US dollars.

Most operating costs on the island are covered by New Zealand, which nine years ago built a new hospital to replace the one destroyed by Cyclone Heta.

MP Togia Sioneholo says privatising hospital services would be complicated.

He says the Premier put forward other sell off ideas as well.

"Particularly some of the operations carried out by the Public Works Department. Some of those operations are much easlier to privatise. But about the medical services it is much more difficult, but we are still waiting. Maybe we will continue to ask him for clarification."

Togia Sioneholo.

Mr Talagi could not be reached for comment.

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