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Health spending will increase in the Budget

14 May 2001 Media Statement

Health spending will increase in the Budget

Acting Health Minister Tariana Turia said today health spending will increase in the 24 May Budget.

"While final figures will remain confidential until the Budget, I can confirm that the statements made today by Mr Sowry are wrong and the figures he has bandied about are out of date.

"They exclude significant parts of overall funding for district health boards, such as the Disability Support transfer to ACC, and new money for improving the blood service.

"It appears these numbers are based on funding offers made in March 2001 to individual District Health Boards and are not the official figures of the Ministry of Health

"The numbers released by Mr Sowry were compiled by District Health Board New Zealand, the body that represents district health boards.

"The Budget announcements on district health boards will be discussed at public meetings in each of the 21 DHB regions from the end of May.

"As has always been indicated, funding for health will be directed towards those priorities outlined in the New Zealand Health Strategy.

"The government has consistently said that we need to improve people's health so they will not have to go to hospital, rather than simply funding the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

"It has already been stated that funding for elective surgery will be maintained at a sustainable level as we continue to ensure that people do not wait more than six months for the elective care they need," Tariana Turia said.


ENDS

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