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DHBs budget $26 million for Holidays Act

DHBs budget $26 million for Holidays Act

It will cost District Health Boards at least $26 million to comply with Labour’s controversial Holidays Act, says National’s Health spokeswoman Judith Collins.

Ms Collins is releasing the first official figures from the DHBs today.

She says $26 million is just the tip of the iceberg, as the true cost of the Holidays Act hasn’t been fully calculated by DHBs. The cost of the extra week’s annual leave, which comes into force from 2007, will balloon the bill even further.

“It’s a bill many DHBs can’t afford to pay.”

Ms Collins says the Government’s political back-scratching of the unions is threatening hospital services.

“Surely DHBs should be spending their money on treating patients instead of subsidising the Government’s union payback.

“In a desperate bid to cover up the costs by the Government, the Ministry of Health told DHBs to send the Ministry their figures so the Ministry could ‘reconcile the responses’ before publicly releasing the information.

The Hawke’s Bay DHB, under pressure from the Ministry, suggested the Ministry tweak its numbers if they didn’t suit, saying that ‘if anything looks out of line with other DHBs feel free to adjust the figures’.

“If that’s not an example of putting politics before patients, I don’t know what is,” says Ms Collins.

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