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Otago's ballooning deficit will mean service cuts

Otago's ballooning deficit will mean cuts to services

The Otago District Health Board's ballooning deficit shows the Government is neglecting core health services in the region, says National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

"The Government's main pledge regarding health was that it would "focus on patients, not profit" before the last election.

"Otago people are now seeing there is no substance to those promises. This large deficit means reduced services and longer waits for surgery.

"The result is a severe rationing of secondary services. Otago's hospitals and patients are the losers, and the effect is wide-reaching in Otago and Southland.

"In contrast the Government is spending $400m on Primary Health Organisations (PHOs), where the funding for doctors' visits is unfair and based on race and location. They are pouring money into these flawed PHOs and neglecting secondary services.

"Patients will suffer and it begs the question as to why anyone in Otago who cares about health would vote for Labour," Dr Scott said.

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