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DHBs caught between Ryall and a hard place

DHBs caught between Ryall and a hard place

Budget problems at Auckland are the direct result of Health Minister Tony Ryall’s crippling expectations on the country’s district health boards, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Every year the Minister sends DHBs a letter directing them to do more with less. The issues in Auckland are not isolated ones.

“Every health board around the country is struggling to meet Government targets and priorities. That’s showing up in cuts to vital surgery, longer waiting times, staff vacancies not being filled and cuts to services for children and the elderly.

“It is unethical and completely unacceptable that any DHB is forced to make cuts to cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, gynaecology, general surgery, respiratory medicine, and intensive care - as is the case in Auckland – because, according to their CEO, they are ‘loss-making’ areas.

“Patients should not be seen as figures on a profit and loss ledger.

“This week the New Zealand Medical Association, Arthritis New Zealand, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, and now the CEO of Auckland District Health Board, have made it clear there is just not enough money for patients to get services when they need it.

“New Zealanders deserve better.”


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