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Health budget increases to a record $15.6b

Health budget increases to a record $15.6b

New Zealand’s public health services budget will reach a record $15.6 billion next year, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

“This National-led Government is committed to protecting and growing our public health services,” he says.

“Budget 2014 is making available $1.8 billion for health over four years for new initiatives and to meet cost pressures and population growth. This is made up of $1.39 billion of new money and $412 million of savings.
“District health boards will have about $320 million available next year for extra services and to help meet cost pressures and population changes.”

The extra funding over four years will fund cost pressures and new initiatives including:
· $90 million to make GP visits and prescriptions free for children aged under 13 from 1 July 2015.
· An extra $112.1 million for disability support services to meet rising needs and costs.
· An additional $110 million for elective surgery, to continue our record increases in the number of operations and to reduce waiting times. for patients.
· $96 million for home-based support services.
· $40 million for a new Healthy Families NZ campaign to encourage New Zealanders to eat healthier and exercise more.
· $40 million for additional support for elderly people including people with dementia (details to be announced later).
· $32.7 million for faster cancer treatment, including $8 million to increase the number of colonoscopies performed.
· A further $20 million for the rheumatic fever prevention programme.
· $17.8 million for post-graduate education and training of doctors.
· $6.3 million to provide bilateral cochlear implants for children under 18.
· $4 million to increase the number of renal transplants performed.
“While many developed countries around the world are freezing or even reducing health funding, this Government is committed to protecting and growing our public health services,” Mr Ryall says.

“Despite tight financial times, this Government has invested an additional $3.34 billion of new operating and capital funding into health in the past five years.

“Careful management of the health budget over the last five years has seen DHBs reducing their deficits from an estimated $200 million to around $25 million (excluding Canterbury), which has allowed the Government to invest more money into new health initiatives.

“The new resources announced today will help us continue to improve frontline health services for New Zealanders.”


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