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ADHB financial crisis: King must face reality

Paul Hutchison National Party Health Spokesman

24 February 2005

ADHB financial crisis: King must face reality

The reality of the enormous financial challenges facing the Auckland District Health Board must be faced up to by the Health Minister, says National's Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

The chairman of the ADHB, Wayne Brown, told the health select committee yesterday that the budget deficit of $44 million this financial year would rise to $85 million next year.

He noted in his annual report that 'hospital-based services operated $29.4 million adversely to budget and this represents an unsustainable position which will prove to be a severe challenge to the board in the coming year'.

The select committee also heard that the ADHB faced many funding problems, including a looming crisis in aged care, and undue financial burdens brought about by the building of the new Auckland City Hospital.

"It is obvious the ADHB is in a precarious financial position. It is highly unlikely that productivity and efficiency gains would be sufficient to avoid further budget blowouts," says Dr Hutchison.

"The recurring problems facing cancer patients are just the tip of the iceberg. Annette King has said the buck stops with her, yet she seems to have turned a blind eye to the reality of the problems facing ADHB.

"Labour has spent $3 billion extra on health since 1999 but failed to show improved health outcomes.

"Ms King must face the reality that ADHB is in a precarious position, and realistic measures must be taken to avoid further crises," says Dr Hutchison.


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