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Health Boards Must Release Budgets

8 May 2002

Minister Must Direct Health Boards To Release Budgets

Health Minister Annette King should direct all district health boards to release their budgets for the 2002-03 financial year, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.

Figures just released show Otago District Health Board won't be able to work within its budget and may have to cut services. "This will be the case for many boards around the country but the public are not hearing about this because the Minister won't let them talk publicly about their financial woes.

"The Ministry of Health said to NZPA on Monday that it was up to the district health boards to release the budgets because the budgets 'belonged' to the DHBs. But we all know that Annette King has thumped down hard on boards talking about their financial struggle to provide adequate services," Mr Sowry said.

Mr Sowry called on the Minister to instruct all of the DHBs to immediately release their budgets for next year.

"This information belongs to the taxpaying public of New Zealand and they should be told what district health boards are getting and what problems they might face.

"We are already hearing stories around the country about possible service cuts during the course of the three year health funding path announced by the Minister last December. Taxpayers have a right to know what these will be, especially after Labour's promise that it would raise taxes to provide better health services," Mr Sowry said.

Ends

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