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DHB system failing as deficits climb

DHB system failing as deficits climb

The large jump quarterly district health board (DHB) deficit is as alarming as the growing waiting lists and people dying while waiting for surgery, says National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

"Our hospitals were carrying an operating deficit of $226m at the end of last year, the highest operating deficit for a 12 month period in the history of the statistics.

"It is no wonder that patients can't get surgery, are being dropped off waiting lists and reports of others dying on waiting lists because hospitals simply can't afford to carry out surgery.

"Annette King is reaching new records in health, but they are not ones any Minister would be proud of.

"The total deficit increased $17m in one quarter, taking the total in just three months to $64m. While individual patients can't get services, our health system is ailing.

"These out of control deficits show that Labour's restructuring of health is not working. The 21 DHBs are expensive, bureaucratic and duplicating services.

"While deficits climb there is not enough money for treatment, drugs, staff or equipment. It is time the Government admitted its reforms are working against rather than improving outcomes for patients," Dr Scott said.

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