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$8m payouts by district health boards revealed

National reveals $8m payouts by district health boards

National has revealed that 18 of the country’s 21 district health boards have paid out $8m in redundancy to staff in just over a year.

National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott has called for the Minister of Health to justify the payouts, many of which are over $50,000, with the highest at $196,000.

“I have real concerns about the large amount of these payouts, the majority of which are large one-off payments to administration and management positions,” Dr Scott said.

“Frontline doctors and nurses must be sickened by administrators and managers walking away with $8m of health funding in a year.

Dr Scott released details of the payouts after writing to the 21 DHBs asking for figures on redundancy payouts between July 2001 and September 2002, and details of any planned future payouts.

“It seems the 21 DHBs are losing huge amounts of money in redundancies. These positions either should not have been there in the first place, or are needed and are being sacrificed because of the cost of the Government’s unnecessary restructure of the health system,” Dr Scott said.

“Health Minister Annette King must explain why $8m in health dollars is being used this way instead of paying for doctors, nurses, new drugs or equipment being denied to patients because of high deficits.

“This money could have been spent on services - patients who can’t get cancer treatment, hip operations, and other necessary surgery because our health system can’t afford it,” Dr Scott said.

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