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DHBs Warned Not To Let Deficits Cut Services

“Senior Doctors Warn DHBs Not To Let Deficits Cut Services”

“Senior doctors are warning district health boards not to let their financial deficits be used to cut or limit services,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was commenting on the announcement by Statistics New Zealand of the national deficit of $39.3m for the December 2003 quarter.

“Rather than restrict services for patients by measures, district health boards should rigorously examine to what extent their deficits are due to mismanagement or under-funding. If the deficits are due to poor management or outdated managerial organisation, then health bosses need to front up to them and leave patient services alone.”

“If the deficits are caused in some way because of under-funding then health bosses should take this up directly with government to negotiate either more realistic funding or a more flexible time-frame for reducing their deficits.”

“The Minister of Health has previously extended the Auckland District Health Board’s period for deficit reduction following representations to her. Other health boards should also consider this approach,” concluded Mr Powell.

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