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NZBS Makes Excellent Progress In A Difficult Year

MEDIA RELEASE - 19 November 2004

NZBS MAKES EXCELLENT PROGRESS IN A DIFFICULT YEAR

The Chairman of the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is pleased with the financial performance of the organisation as revealed in the 2004 Annual Report tabled in Parliament on 11th November.

The NZBS, a Crown Entity which provides blood products and services to the people of New Zealand, incurred a net loss of $85,000 in the year to 30 June 2004. This is $1.14 million better than the budgeted loss of $1.22 million, and nearly $3.0 million better than the loss reported in the prior year.

Chairman Warren Young says the financial performance was "a commendable effort" during a year "of challenge and change".

"Whilst much still remains to be done, we are very comfortable with the progress achieved in the latest year," Mr Young said.

"We are forecasting a breakeven result for the 2004/5 year, but this is viewed as a stretch target for management." NZBS is now covered by the Union wage settlements negotiated by District Health Boards and this inclusion will bring substantial additional cost increases to the service in coming years.

"Moving forward, we have a number of strategic considerations which could materially change the nature of our business," Mr Young said.

The principal task of NZBS is to ensure the supply of safe blood and blood products. "We continually monitor the international trends in blood collection, processing and testing," Mr Young said. "In this way we can ensure that the safety profile of our blood meets the highest international standards and contributes to the best possible clinical outcomes for patients." The introduction of the new factor VIII product BIOSTATE with effect from 1 July 2005 is consistent with this strategy.

"The advent of the new Joint Regulatory Agency between New Zealand and Australia will also have a significant impact on the service. This will bring about greater uniformity in trans-Tasman practices, but could also influence the cost structures and operational demands under which NZBS operates."

Mr Young said: "It is crucial that these developments are carefully managed on a national basis and that the lead times for change are appropriate to their effective and efficient introduction."

Ends


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