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DHBs face $105m deficit next year

DHBs face $105m deficit next year

Heather Roy
Monday, 27 June 2005
Press Releases - Health

New information confirms that the forecast combined deficit for District Health Boards is expected to grow to $105 million, ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"The bulk of the deficits will be carried by the Auckland District Health Board, which is estimated to have a $92 million deficit in 2005/ 06.

"In 2001, Health Minister Annette King announced that $550 million would be pumped into health each year; a record yearly increase. Ms King said the package would be used by DHBs to eliminate their deficits, with the expectation that waiting lists would also be slashed".

"The package will allow the elimination of DHB deficits over the three years, but DHBs must manage their cost growth, including wage pressures, to live within this total package" Mrs King said. (Dominion, 11 Dec 2001).

"This record increase has been eclipsed by this year's shock spend of an extra $970 million,

almost double the previous record increase.

'It is nothing short of incompetence that despite this record spend, Labour has failed to reduce waiting lists and DHB deficits are rising again.

"Labour's own figures show there are now 181,000 on waiting lists, up from 176,000 in October 1999. And District Health Board deficits are growing, with the newly released figures from draft Annual Plans predicting a $105 million deficit in 2005/06 and $92 million for the 2006/07 year.

"These figures back up the 'Specific Fiscal Risks' section of the Budget papers that draft District Annual Plans from District Health Boards indicated deficits in the order of $100

million in 2005/06 and a similar level of deficits forecast for 2006/07.

"Annette King can continue to bluff and bluster in the face of Treasury's warnings that the deficits are growing despite her irresponsible injection of a record extra $1 billion into health for no net gain. This shows how poor her financial grasp of the Health portfolio has been".

"It is obviously time for a change of leadership in the health sector. Only ACT has a plan to address waiting lists so that New Zealanders can have confidence about access to healthcare," Mrs Roy said.

*Parliamentary Question 7140

ENDS

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