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DHB Blow-Out Must Not Cut Patient Services

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
FRIDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2004

DHB Blow-Out Must Not Cut Patient Services

“Senior doctors are warning the Taranaki District Health Board that its financial blow-out must not be allowed to directly or indirectly cut the range or quality of patient services,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the announcement by the Taranaki DHB that it had an unexpected budget blow-out of nearly $700,000 for the 2003-04 financial year. The DHB had already budgeted for a $1 million deficit.

“The Minister of Health has been very clear in stating district health boards must not cut services. She believes that DHBs are adequately funded to cover their deficits. However, health managers often see it differently.”

“If the Taranaki District Health Board attempts measures such as halting or delaying appointments to vacant positions, patient services will be compromised in some form.”

“The Taranaki District Health Board should rigorously examine to what extent their deficit and blow-out is due to organisational inefficiency. If they are due to poor management or outdated managerial organisation, then it is in the hands of the DHB to sort out.”

“However, if they are due to inadequate funding then the DHB should take this up directly with government to in order to negotiate either improved funding or a more flexible time-frame for reducing their deficits,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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