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Hospitals to foot new $750,000 bill

Hospitals to foot new $750,000 bill to pay for extra board members

"Papers released today reveal the country's hospitals face a new three-quarter-of-a-million dollar bill to pay for the extra appointees to new health boards," National's Associate Health spokesperson Lynda Scott said today.

"Papers obtained under the Official Information Act start to show the mounting costs of the Government's health reforms.

"For the first time we've been told how much some of the reform will cost.

"In the papers the Health Minister says that assuming two extra directors will be appointed to each Board, the extra cost of directors fees is estimated at $756,000 for a full financial year, and that Board fees are to be met by the Hospital and Health Services.

"That money could have bought 347 additional cataract procedures.

"In the House today Ruth Dyson failed to tell those Hospital and Health Services, already struggling with their budget allocations, where they are to find the extra money to pay for these new directors.

"The papers also show another bill of $135,000 to select appointees to the Transitional Health Boards.

"The Government has so far failed to be up front about the specific costs of the health reforms. The figures released today start to shed some light on them.

"The money should be going in to delivering extra health services for people, not being wasted on health restructuring."

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