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Govt continues run down of health services

Roger Sowry National Health Spokesperson

23 November 2001

Govt continues run down of health services

Today's official Public Health Financial statistics show that the current Government continues to run the health system into the ground, with a deficit increase of over 50 percent in the last quarter, National's health spokesperson Roger Sowry said.

"Since Labour and the Alliance became the Government the health system has failed to deliver an operating surplus. District health boards have returned the sixth consecutive quarterly operating deficit since March 2000. This is further proof that the current Government has no idea about managing the health system," Mr Sowry said.

"The quarterly operating deficit was $15.6 million in March 2001, $27.8 million in June and the September 2001 quarter result released today shows a huge increase of over 50 percent increase in the deficit to $42.3 million.

"Last year's total operating deficit was $63.8 million. District Health Boards have already projected deficits totalling over $200 million for the current financial year and we know that number will increase.

"The cost of providing services by public hospitals rose by 0.6 percent, yet revenue from the Government to the DHBs decreased by 0.9 percent in the same quarter. At the same time the Minister's been telling District Health Boards to provide better services for less money.

"Annette King and her Government are driving our hospitals into the ground. They told us that if we paid more taxes they would put more funding into health. Today's statistics prove that it is empty rhetoric as far as our hospitals are concerned," Mr Sowry said.

Ends

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