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Ministry working with Nelson-Marlborough DHB

12 February 2004

Media Release

Ministry working with Nelson-Marlborough District Health Board on ways forward

The Ministry of Health expects large funding increases for Nelson-Marlborough DHB over the next two years will allow the DHB to improve its services, if it is able to address its current financial pressures.

Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General DHB Funding and Performance, Gordon Davies, says that over the last two years, the Ministry has been working closely with all 21 DHBs on a project to ensure fair allocation of funding for DHBs. Under the new funding formula introduced last year, Nelson-Marlborough DHB will receive the biggest percentage increase in funding of all the 21 DHBs - 8% ($15 million) in 2004/05 and 9% ($19 million) in 2005/06 to ensure that funding reflects its population size and make-up.

Without the change in the funding formula, NMDHB would have continued to be underfunded as it had been for many years.

NMDHB submitted a District Annual Plan for 2003/04 with a break even result. It received $11 million (7%) additional funding in 2003/04 (payments to other boards for services to NMDHB residents aside).

Mr Davies says the Ministry is currently working with NMDHB on how to reduce its costs without reducing its services. It would be inappropriate to reduce services given the previous additional funding, and the further increases NMDHB will receive over the next two years.

Mr Davies says NMDHB is trying to identify areas where savings can be made by comparing its costs with other DHBs.

"NMDHB still plans to break-even and the Minister of Health has made it clear that DHBs should manage their costs to gain best value for the health dollar," says Mr Davies.

"NMDHB has managed its resources well in the past and we have confidence its management will make the appropriate decisions to manage the current situation."

ENDS


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