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King Can't Hide From The Facts

King Can't Hide From The Facts

Thursday 22 Jan 2004 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today predicted that, despite its assurances, Capital and Coast District Health Board would inevitably have to cut patient services as a result of its $5 million budget blowout for the year to date.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions to Treasury have revealed that Capital and Coast has forecast a $1 million surplus for February. This is unlikely, however, and the February result indicate the Board's financial outcome for the year." Mrs Roy said.

"The DHB's 2003/04 district annual plan - one of the first to be signed off by the Health Ministry - showed that the DHB would break even. Yet Treasury and Ministry reports published at the end of October 2003 for the first quarter - and which Health Minister Annette King was briefed on - highlighted Capital and Coast as already being $2.8 million in deficit.

"Capital and Coast's $5 million deficit shows this is an escalating problem and - despite its assurances to the contrary - it will likely will end the year in further deficit. The DHB also received a $33 million equity injection - the country's second largest - for the 2002/03 financial year. That it faces a blowout after receiving such a boost is of serious concern.

"This DHB has been under performance watch - where the Health Ministry pays close attention to its financial management. This certainly raises some serious questions - especially as to how a $5 million deficit has been allowed to reach such proportions if the Minister has been monitoring effectively," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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