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Good Work Unrewarded


Good Work Unrewarded

It comes as no surprise that the Whanganui District Health Board has had its projected $1.8 million deficit for the 2003-04 financial year rejected by the Labour Government, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"New information, released to me through the Official Information Act, shows that projected total deficits for DHBs for the 2003-04 year are estimated to be around $90 million - this OIA shows that the Government has `rejected these remaining deficits, and is actively discussing actions and cost containment measures with these DHBs'," Mrs Roy said.

"Since DHBs were established, Health Minister Annette King has progressively devolved responsibility for more and more services to them.

"At the same time, the implication has been that no services are to be cut. Despite this, Ms King, along with Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen, has made it abundantly clear that cash-strapped DHBs must work towards break-even point.

"Whanganui DHB is no exception. The board has worked hard to get its projected $4.5 million deficit, for the current year, down to a deficit of $1.8 million for the 2003-04 year - originally, this was projected to be a deficit of $3.2 million.

"This tells the story of a board strives to cut its spending, in line with Government directives - yet the Minister remains unsatisfied, expecting DHBs to provide First World healthcare with Third World funding," Mrs Roy said.

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