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DHBs are in a deepening financial hole

David Clark
MP for Dunedin North

Health
Assoc Finance

21 March 2017

MEDIA STATEMENT

DHBs are in a deepening financial hole

New Zealand’s District Health Boards are in a financial hole with deficits deteriorating rapidly, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.

“Back in October they were forecasting that nationally DHBs deficits were going to be $55.4 million for the year, now the deficit is up to $70.2 million. Last year’s deficit was $54 million.

“It’s obvious that the $1.7 billion funding gap in the Health budget is having a massive impact.

“Now 12 of the country’s DHBs are in deficit up from eight DHBs in 2014.

“It seems that the Government is determined to run our Health system into the ground demanding DHBs make high amounts of ‘efficiency savings’ that are no longer sustainable.

“On the ground, Waikato cannot make savings by lowering the levels of nurses due to hospital demand, and in the Wairarapa, they are struggling with the additional costs due to a spike in demand for mental health beds over the past few months.

We know in Canterbury that they are receiving more adult inpatients than there are beds in their inpatient unit, and that District Health Boards are spending more on their mental health services than what they are funded for.

“Labour will restore health funding and address the $1.7 billion gap as a first step to fixing the sector,” says David Clark.

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