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Health Board balances the books & ‘breaks even’

14 July 2004

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board balances the books & ‘breaks even’

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board chair, Kevin Atkinson, announced at today’s district health board meeting that for the first time in at least the last 10 years, the DHB had broken-even for the 2003/2004 financial year.

“Coming from a position of $6.5 million in debt at the beginning of the *financial year, to today’s impressive result which is a $188,000 surplus (subject to final adjustments), is a significant achievement for the board, management and staff of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

“This result is the culmination of a number of initiatives which have been put in place combined with a tight hold on the purse strings,” Mr Atkinson said. “While patients haven’t been directly impacted by the efficiencies, staff have been working under fairly tight conditions over the past year and I would like to express my gratitude to each and every staff member who has done their ‘bit’ to help contain costs.

“Reflecting on the past 12 months there have been significant restructures, from the top down – the Healthcare Services management team combined six business units into three, and the three newly-appointed group managers were quickly charged with identifying further savings within their budgets. Despite these demands, contracted clinical volumes have been met,” Kevin Atkinson said.

“Each service throughout the DHB was asked to contain costs, and non-‘mission critical’ spending was put on hold,” Mr Atkinson said. “In some cases there were small initiatives that added up to big savings, and in other instances there were major changes to the way HBDHB goes about its business that resulted in ongoing savings.”

“Breaking even is more than simply being ‘out of the red’ it means we now have credibility with government as a DHB that keeps its promises,” Mr Atkinson said. “Despite many years of under-funding, we are now in a position of receiving an additional $12 million this year under the population-based funding formula.

“We can now move into the new financial year with clear priorities, as outlined in our recently-approved District Annual Plan. With appropriate funding available the way is now clear for us to work to improve the health and well-being of people in our community.

“Our goal is to have the healthiest families in New Zealand by 2008 and by taking a community-wide approach we are committed to achieving this,” Mr Atkinson said.

“We are moving from a culture of ‘making do’ and looking to government to address our funding shortfalls, to a culture of self-reliance, recognising that we now have our fair share of health funding and are responsible for building a sustainable health sector today and into the future,” Mr Atkinson said.

*The DHB’s financial year runs from 1 July – 30 June.


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