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DEFU Proves Health Funding Decrease For Next Year

ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesman Ken Shirley predicts a deepening crisis in health funding following the release of the December Economic and Fiscal Update today.

“This year’s Budget provided the lowest increase in health funding for over 5 years, and now we have an absolute decrease projected in funding for next year.

The current year’s health funding is $7.288 billion and this is projected to decrease to $7.275 billion next financial year.

“This absolute decrease will be further compounded by the projected 3.6% inflation rate.

“It is an outrage for Health Minister Annette King to impose massive restructuring costs on the health sector and then starve it of funds.

“Health professionals are leaving this country in droves and this situation can only be compounded. The new District Health Boards will be facing an impossible situation as the low Kiwi dollar value drives up the cost of all imported medical equipment.

“This year’s wage round has hit our public hospitals hard with both the doctor and nursing professions securing substantial pay increases, yet the hospitals have not received any extra funding.

“The only foreseeable outcome will be a further deterioration in services provided, which is both wasteful and short-sighted” concluded Ken Shirley.

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