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Govt puts Hawkes Bay DHB in no-win situation

Govt puts Hawkes Bay DHB in no-win situation

The Government is putting Hawkes Bay District Health Board in an impossible position regarding the future provision of its health services, says National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

“The Board’s agenda for tomorrow’s monthly meeting spells it out clearly. Treasury won’t approve the $10 m operating deficit the DHB has run up and Health Minister Annette King won’t consider any service cuts or reconfigurations of services.

“This is the same Minister that has demanded that boards like Hawkes Bay cut their deficits. Everybody in the Hawkes Bay knows there will be health cuts so Annette King saying there won’t be just doesn’t ring true.

“It is just farcical that this board can’t get its annual plan approved - it is damned if it cuts services (by the Ministry of Health) and damned if it doesn't (by Treasury and Michael Cullen).

“Hawkes Bay patients don’t know what services are confirmed for the future. They are paying the price of Annette King’s poor management of health.

“The former chief executive Mark Flowers said 18 months ago that Hawkes Bay DHB was at the ‘bottom of the barrel’ regarding whether it could find further efficiency gains.

“There are several other boards in the same position as Hawkes Bay. The Minister must explain why she is allowing this ridiculous situation to continue,” Dr Scott said.

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