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Secret Report On Cuts To Health Services

Major cuts in health services are before the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, National's Tony Ryall said today.

"Faced with a $10 million budget shortfall in the next year because of under-funding, the board met last Monday to consider a report from CEO Ron Dunham in public-excluded business.

"That report obtained by National details options to save the $10 million. These include up to $10 million cuts in elective surgery, downgrading surgery at Whakatane Hospital, and stopping services in Opotiki and Murupara.

"The report also suggests a freeze on all wages and salaries, including nurses and doctors.

"My information is that the board kicked for touch, deciding to leave any decision on cuts to the new elected hospital board in October.

"Imagine getting elected on the Saturday and finding the need to save $10 million because of budget cuts.

"Dr Cullen has indicated health boards can not run in the red forever and must have a plan to get into the black.

"This paper is frightening for the region. It shows under-funding will affect services throughout the Bay of Plenty - a region with a rapidly growing population and considerable health needs.

"We've paid the extra taxes, so where are the extra operations Minister? asked Tony Ryall in Parliament this afternoon.


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