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Health Budget Only 40% of Coalition Commitments

Budget ’18: Health Budget Only 40% of Coalition Commitments, says AH+

Wayne Williams, Chief Executive, Alliance Health Plus (AH+) PHO.

“Overall, the coalition agreement signalled $8bn for Health over 4 years, but now the recent Budget has committed $3.2 over 4 years, a mere 40% of the original coalition agreement.”

“$850m for capital expenditure is low. For two DHBs in Auckland alone, the deferred maintenance estimate is $3.6bn, not to mention the rapid growth in Auckland region creating a step-change increase in Primary and Secondary demand. This will lead to a requirement for a new hospital every 4 years based on current growth rates. Each new hospital will require a capital build cost of approximately $1bil”.

“Mental health inquiry (due 10 October 2018) is likely to determine changes needed, as a result no mention in budget for now. As a Government priority focus, Mental Health will need a substantial injection of funds, later in the 2018 year.”

“In regards to Primary care, there is some relief for Community Services Card holders and under 14 year olds. However, subsequent to the Primary care Review deliberations for Primary Care, including funding formulas, significantly more funds will needed to ensure the capacity and support is available within GP practices. This will be necessary to reduce inequities, primarily for Pacific, Maori and high needs patients.”

Overall, this budget goes someway to addressing the stated priorities of Primary Care, mental health and reducing inequities as well as building strong hospitals. There is a need for a lot more expenditure to come, subsequent to the reviews.

Will there be enough left in the coffers?!


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