Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


DHB deficits balloon as Clark fails to act

Michael Woodhouse - Health

18 February 2019

It is disappointing that the combined deficit of New Zealand’s 20 District Health Boards looks set to balloon to about $500 million despite David Clark’s pledge when he took office that he would bring it under control, National’s Health spokesman Michael Woodhouse says.

“The deficit for 2018/19 could be more than four times as high as the last year of the previous National Government. The Health Minister said in December 2017 that DHB debt was ‘deeply concerning’ and ‘cannot be allowed to continue’ but it has worsened on his watch.

“More than a year after pledging to rein in the deficits, the DHBs are in a weaker financial position. Eight months into the latest fiscal year Dr Clark has yet to announce the approval of a single annual plan and he has stalled on releasing any financial details for the DHBs.

“National oversaw a combined DHB deficit of $119 million in 2016/17 and budgeted for a similar-sized deficit for 2017/18. DHB performance was tracking only slightly above budget until November 2017 when the new Government came in and the combined deficit jumped to $240 million in that fiscal year.

“The Government has neither provided the funding they claimed they would nor set expectations for continued fiscal discipline. The financial chickens are coming home to roost. At some point Dr Clark should stop blaming previous administrations and get on with the job.

“The Health Select Committee has heard from both Northland and Counties Manukau DHBs that their respective financial deficits are forecast to be double last year’s. My sources in DHBs across the country say they are in a similar position.

“Indeed it is likely that the deficits of just three DHBs, Counties Manukau, Canterbury and Southern, will exceed the total deficits of the 20 DHBs in National’s last full year in office.

“I call on Dr Clark to be honest with the New Zealand public about the situation and explain what he and his Government is going to do to stem the tide of neglect by them over the past 16 months. New Zealand’s health system requires diligent oversight not wishful thinking.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mosque Attack: No Mention Of Right-Wing Threat In 10 Years Of GCSB/SIS Docs

Jane Patterson for RNZ: There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of public documents from the Security Intelligence Service or the GCSB. More>>

Two Minute Silence Friday: Auckland Mosques Opening Their Doors To All
Mosques in the four corners of Auckland will open their doors on Friday night for people of all faiths to gather in remembrance of the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch shootings. More>>

Parliament's Condolences: PM's Statement On Christchurch Mosques Terror Attack
Al salam Alaikum. Peace be upon you. And peace be upon all of us.
Mr Speaker the 15th of March will now forever be a day etched in our collective memories... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Government Shouldn't Run The Christchurch Massacre Inquiry
At Cabinet yesterday, the promised changes to our gun laws cleared their first hurdle. According to PM Jacinda Ardern, Cabinet agreed collectively “in principle” on a set of proposals to change New Zealand’s gun laws... Yesterday, Ardern also announced an inquiry into the background to the mosque attacks and into the role played by the SIS, GCSB, Police, Customs, and Immigration. More>>

For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>


"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>


████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>


'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>


From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>





InfoPages News Channels