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The real health budget numbers



Health Spokesperson
The real health budget numbers

This year’s Budget will put a real strain on New Zealand’s health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Health Minister Tony Ryall has hyped up the Budget, saying it is the biggest funding of the health sector to date.

“However when demographic and population changes are taken into account, it will actually put a massive extra strain on the health sector and district health boards.

“The Treasury’s own fiscal strategy model shows that this year health faces a 2.3 per cent cut in real terms.

“DHBs are facing real pressures, particularly when Tony Ryall is already calling on them to complete their saving of $700 million by 2015.

“The Minister said DHBs will receive $320 million next year for extra services. But that doesn’t stack up. The combined increase for DHB funding from last year is $209 million. That means for DHBs to obtain the mythical $320 million, they will be forced to find $111million of savings and reprioritisation.

“Last week economist Bill Rosenburg said total health operating expenditure would require an additional $499 million to simply keep up with population and cost increases. Instead Tony Ryall’s Budget has fallen $106 million short meaning cut in services will have to follow.

“The combined DHB budget story doesn’t look any better. That needed an additional $399 million to maintain current levels of service but fell $209 million short.

“All of this shows DHBs and the health sector are going to have to make difficult choices and the only outcome will be that services will suffer.

“Tony Ryall is putting a huge strain on a health sector which is already crying out for help. Nationals Budget is bad news for the health sector, adding to the mounting pressure it is already facing,” Annette King says.

Two Attachments: DHB Funding Since 2010 and Trends in the Health Vote

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