Public Hospitals Should Increase Deficits
ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER NO. OF PAGES: 1
STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
FRIDAY 4 MAY
Public Hospitals Should Increase Deficits In Response To Under-Funding
“Public hospitals should be prepared to increase their financial deficits if the expected under-funding is confirmed in the Budget later this month,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.
“It is the country’s worst kept secret that public hospital funding for the next financial year will be much less than the cost of running them. The difference between funding and actual costs could be around 3-4%.”
“This large under-funding leaves public hospitals with two choices – run financial deficits or reduce patient services and standards of care. Cutting services and quality is unacceptable to senior doctors and other health professionals. It also seems unacceptable to Health Minister Annette King who yesterday reportedly said it increased deficits were okay.”
“It is not fiscally responsible for the government to under-fund the public’s hospitals. Eventually the debts will have to be paid. It is only a question of when and how much extra it will cost.”
“Increasing deficits makes it a political issue to which politicians only are accountable and can’t escape from. Neither patients or health professionals should suffer through a highly questionable political decision to under-fund public hospitals,” concluded Mr Powell.
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