Prime Minister John Key continued to splash asset sale cash around on the campaign trail today saying he would soon announce a portion of the $5 billion to $7 billion raised would go towards improving hospitals.

Speaking at Rotorua Hospital this afternoon he said it was "definitely a possibility" that money from asset sales earmarked for spending on capital projects would be spent on hospitals.

"My expectation is some money will go there. That will be for another announcement on another day.

"There's quite clearly the need for an improvement in our hospitals, we've spent a lot over the last three years... there's more to be done."


Since the election campaign began, Mr Key has already announced $1 billion of the money from partially privatising state owned energy companies would go towards improving schools, and yesterday that a further $400 million would go on irrigation projects.

Mr Key and Health Minister Tony Ryall were at the hospital with the message the National Government had managed the health sector better than the Labour Government, and greater efficiencies mean waiting times for surgery would continue fall.

Mr Key said his Government was committed to bringing waiting times for elective surgery down from six months currently to four months by 2014.

That would see an additional 4000 people a year receive such treatment.

The increase was possible because National would continue to manage the hospital system in a way that had already seen a 22 per cent increase in elective surgery since 2008.

"Our careful economic management of valuable health dollars means New Zealanders are getting better care sooner."

Health Minister Tony Ryall said the Government would spend an additional $12 million a year over the next three years on reducing waiting times for elective surgery and District Health Boards would also use more of their resources in that area.

Mr Key said he expected the bulk of $800 million a year in additional operational spending for the next two years and $1.2 billion a year after that would be spent in the health, education and to a lesser extent science portfolios.


"But what we're really doing today is ring fencing a small part of that."

He expected health would account for about $350 million to $400 million of the additional operational spending over the foreseeable future.