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2010 Budget means record health cuts

2010 Budget means record health cuts   
       
The National Government’s decision to nearly halve the budget increase for District Health Boards around the country will lead to record health cuts, Labour Health spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.

“The component of Vote Health which gets to DHBs is, effectively, where the rubber meets the road and DHBs will not have enough to continue services at their current levels. Simply put there is a $300 million hole in the health budget, so there is not enough money for the health sector to stand still,” Ruth Dyson said,” Ruth Dyson said.

“Under the health announcement, frontline DHB provided services will receive a 3.5% increase.  By the time DHBs factor inflation and wage increases this won’t provide any additional services and will in fact force more cuts.

“The Budget revealed that Public Health will be cut by $68 million over 4 years. Mental Health loses $12 million over 4 years, and the Primary Health Care Strategy will decrease by $58 million over 4 years. The Minister has called this lower priority spending.

“Those figures represent real people who will miss out on services.

“In the last 18 months we have seen more than 80 frontline services, in nearly every region of the country, cut back.

“Those services range from massive reductions in home help for the elderly, plans to cut beds in community hospitals which have only just been opened, through to a decision to turn people away at Emergency Departments.

“Tony Ryall has allowed a record level of cuts to patient services. That is a disgrace. The elderly should not have to go without home support because a National Government regards them as a ‘lower priority’ spend.

“Tony Ryall and John Key promised $700 million in savings in health to be put back into the frontline. The reality is they have saved nothing and cut services.

“This year's health budget will not increase services, instead record health cuts will continue,” Ruth Dyson said.

ENDS

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