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Health Cuts Hurts Campaign

Health Cuts Hurts Campaign

Canterbury Health Funding Model Slammed at Board Meeting

The Canterbury District Health Board has been accused of betraying the people of Canterbury by Health Cuts Hurt Campaign spokeswomen Heather Carter.

Ms Carter, speaking as part of a public deputation at the Board’s meeting today, said the funding model the CDHB was implementing was “the stuff of nightmares”. Canterbury is set to lose $30 million off its health budget over the next three years under the Government’s Population Based Funding Model, something that Ms Carter said can only be achieved “by inflicting more pain on the people of the region”.

In a wide ranging address, Ms Carter accused the Board of making decisions in secret, of imposing a media gag on publicly elected members and of betraying the promise that local communities would have a say in the way their health services would be run. “Many of us know of people who have died through waiting for operations that would have saved their lives had they had them in time…when the Minister promised to reduce waiting lists we did not expect that to mean that people would be simply taken off them!” said Ms Carter.

In a comment directed at the proliferation of managers in the CDHB, Ms Carter said the “burgeoning bureaucracy of the health system is what needs to be slashed, not services to patients”.

Tom Dowie, speaking after Ms Carter, focused on the impact of the funding model and the CDHB’s increasingly desperate attempts to reduce its deficit by, amongst other measures, asset stripping. Mr Dowie criticised the proposed sale of the Queen Mary Hospital site in Hanmer Springs as symptomatic of the short sighted thinking that the Board was engaged in in order to resolve a purely artificial financial crisis: a crisis precipitated by the failure of the Government to adequately fund health.

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