Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Call to abolish capital charges on DHBs

Call to abolish capital charges on DHBs

Capital charges on the country’s district health boards should be scrapped, says Lyndon Keene, Director of Policy and Research for the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

“Capital charges are imposing significant extra costs on hospitals that are already cash-strapped and creating additional safety risks in the delivery of health services,” he says.

ASMS has published a Research Brief looking at the impact and future of capital charges on DHBs, available online at https://www.asms.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Research-Brief-Capital-Charge_169877.2.pdf.

The paper describes how every six months DHBs have to pay the Government a capital charge on the Crown’s capital investment received by DHBs. The charge, which is currently set at 6% per year, applies to any DHB operational surpluses as well as any capital funding provided by government. In 2017, this totalled $174.2 million.

“The charges are expected to come out of the DHBs’ existing baseline funding, which is already stretched,” says Mr Keene.

“What this means in reality is that at budget time, operational funding for DHBs will be significantly less in real terms that what has been allocated. This is really concerning and needs to be addressed.”

He says DHBs previously tried to reduce the impact of the capital charge by using a government loan to finance capital projects because this carries a lower interest rate, but this avenue of funding was closed off last year when the then Government told DHBs they could no longer access Crown debt financing for funding capital investment.

“This was a very short-sighted decision, especially for those DHBs which are already vulnerable and also facing major building costs,” says Mr Keene.

“DHBs have limited options for improving their income to asset ratio. The Government decides their income and we know that this has fallen significantly in value since 2009/10. As a result, we’re seeing DHBs focusing on short-term results rather than taking a longer-term, more strategic view. This is not in the best interests of patients.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The M Bovis Outbreak

As the public keeps on being told, there is no risk at all to human health from cows infected with Mycoplasma bovis. In that respect, it is not at all like mad cow disease.

Even so, the M bovis outbreak is still doing the head in of Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, who will be announcing on Monday whether the government intends going down the ‘eradication’ or the ‘management’ path with respect to the outbreak. More>>


RNZ: Fishing Industry Lies Revealed In Leaked Report

Some of the country's biggest fishing companies have been under-reporting their hoki catch by hundreds of tonnes, according to a leaked fisheries report. The report has been kept secret from the public for seven years and environmentalists say it casts doubt on industry claims that lucrative hoki is being fished sustainably. More>>


Uni Cuts: VCs At Risk Of Opting Out Of Government’s Vision

Vice-Chancellors need to accept that cutting jobs to meet narrow performance metrics will do nothing to help rebuild an inclusive tertiary education sector that meets the needs of all New Zealanders, the Tertiary Education Union said today. More>>


DBHs v Nurses: Independent Panel Reports On Collective Agreement

The Independent Panel, which was set up to help reach a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) between the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation and the 20 District Health Boards, has made a series of recommendations to address issues impacting settlement. More>>


Cannabis: Legalisation Referendum Could Happen Sooner

The Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand says any decision to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis use in 2019, rather than in an election year, would be a welcome one because the issue is too important to be treated like a political football. More>>


Decile Changes Kicked For Touch: Focusing School Funding On Equity For Kids

The Government is expanding work done on replacing school deciles to look more broadly at what’s needed to ensure all children, including learners from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds, get the support they need to learn. More>>


Kevin Short New CDF: Defence Deployments Online

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the release today of further information on where NZDF personnel are deployed overseas... “Defence will also be proactively releasing their advice to Cabinet following future decisions on deployments and mandate.” More>>





Featured InfoPages