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Govt's huge hospital deficit delays new funding

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokesperson

30 August 2002

Govt's huge hospital deficit delays new funding regime

The Government's plans to move funding of district health boards to population-based funding can't happen for another four to six years because it has run hospital deficits up so high, says National's Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

"Briefing papers on the Government's plans show it can't move health to population-based funding next year because most of the country's 21 health boards are in deficit.

"The papers say switching over to population-based funding could even worsen deficits the boards already have. Boards are currently carrying a combined operating deficit of $217m.

"The Government has delayed and delayed the switch to population-based funding and now we see through it's own papers that the move will increase transaction costs and destablise already unstable services.

"The Minister of Health needs to get real. Switching to population-based funding will be like her unnecessary restructure of the health system - it cost more money and has caused an unstable system struggling to keep it's head above water," Dr Scott said.


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