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Creech can’t count

16 June 2000 Media Advisory

Creech can’t count

It is disappointing that Wyatt Creech, a former Minister of Health, cannot understand the health budget, Health Minister Annette King said today.

"Mr Creech clearly does not understand Vote: Health when he claims that the development of district health boards may cost up to $30 million.

"The Government has established a contingency fund for health sector development. This $20 million fund is there only if there is a need for it, and I certainly hope that it will not be called upon.

"It is unclear where the extra $10 million referred to by Mr Creech is from. I can only presume that he is referring to money set aside to pay staff of the Health Funding Authority during the transition to Ministry of Health.

"If the former minister could count he would see that the amount paid to the HFA has dropped by $16 million, of which $10 million is for staff during the transition, making an overall saving of $6 million.

"While it is disappointing that he lacks any real understanding of the budget, it is not surprising. However, it does go some way in explaining why the previous government claimed that it’s health reforms would save $500million but ended up costing the country nearly twice that," Mrs King said.


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