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B2000: Health funding in good heart

Hon Annette King
Minister of Health

15 June 2000


Health funding in good heart

The Government has shown its commitment to a "healthier New Zealand" by putting $412 million more into the public health system this year, Health Minister Annette King said today.

Mrs King said $7030.26 million had been allocated to Vote Health in 2000/01, a net increase of 4.5 percent on 1999/00.

"The most significant increases are for mental health services and elective surgery. Both these items were commitment card pledges before the election.

"The additional $74 million for elective surgery, every year for the next four years, comes on top of the $22 million extra we are already providing this year, and fulfils our pledge to reduce waiting times for elective services.

"The Budget also confirms funding to implement the Mental Health Commission's blueprint for mental health services. We will spend $257.4 million more over the next four years. According to the Mental Health Commission. It will take up to 10 years to implement the blueprint completely because we have to rebuild the mental health workforce, but mental health is no longer the Cinderella of health spending."

Mrs King said the large increase in health spending fulfilled a key Government goal to "restore trust in government and provide strong social services."

"Other initiatives show our determination to tackle this country's serious health disparities. An annual injection of $10 million extra for disability support services will be particularly welcomed. The Budget also makes significant steps to closing the "health gap" for Mäori and Pacific peoples, including $20 million through the next four years to help the 44 percent of Mäori who smoke give up the habit."

Highlights of Vote Health:
 $74 million extra annually for the next four years for elective surgery
 $257.4 million additional over next four years for mental health services
 $10 million extra annually for next four years for disability support services
 $20 million extra over next four years for Mäori smoking cessation initiatives
 Funding to build capacity of Pacific providers
 Extra funding for rural health, immunisation and South Auckland strategy.


ENDS

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