by Selwyn Manning
Auckland Healthcare has managed a budget surplus, a profit,inspite of a year of poor health-status records.
Auckland Healthcare manages Auckland Hospital, Greenlane, National Women's and Starship Children's Hospital, along with community and mental health services.
This financial year's before tax profit was $4.4 million, after showing a $24 million loss for the previous year. Much of this is due to Health Funding Authority fund injections and a noticed mild winter in 1998.
Meanwhile, nearby South Auckland Health has been plagued with record admissions at Middlemore Hospital and having to treat more patients requiring hospitalisation for serious illness than ever before.
Auckland health officers have also recorded a meningitis epidemic which they say is of "third world" severity. Rheumatic fever, severe respiratory disease and complications stemming from poor housing have caused concern among community leaders and health professionals alike.
Health advocacy reports show those living in low socio-economic areas of the greater Auckland region are facing high morbidity rates - low health status and unaffordability of adequate housing.