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District Health Board Deficit Decreases

District Health Board Deficit Decreases

The combined deficit of New Zealand's 21 district health boards (DHBs) was $13.3 million for the March 2004 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This was a $26.0 million decrease on the $39.3 million deficit recorded in the December 2003 quarter, and is $19.4 million lower than the deficit in the March 2003 quarter.

Total DHB revenue rose to $1,892.1 million, with funding from the Ministry of Health increasing by $15.0 million (to $1,561.7 million), compared with the December 2003 quarter. Total DHB expenses fell by $21.9 million, to $1,905.5 million in the March 2004 quarter. The two major components of this expenditure are the direct provision of public hospital and health services (HHS), at $1,107.3 million, and the purchase of medical services from non-government providers and inter-DHB services, at $774.0 million.

The total expenses of the HHS providers were 1.8 percent lower than in the December 2003 quarter, but 7.3 percent higher when compared with the March 2003 quarter. Employee costs, the key expense item, was down 1.6 percent (to $680.7 million), compared with the December 2003 quarter.

Total DHB investment in fixed assets was $59.9 million in the March 2004 quarter, down on the $103.5 million spent in the December 2003 quarter. For the year ended 31 March 2004, DHBs spent $413.5 million on additions to fixed assets, up 4.1 percent on expenditure in the previous 12 months.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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