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Labour fails to report crisis at ADHB

Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Health Spokesman

15 September 2005

Labour fails to report crisis at ADHB

National’s Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison, says it is a scandal that senior government Ministers were briefed in June about the dire financial status of the Auckland District Health Board but they didn’t make the information publicly known.

Briefing papers given to Ministers on 27 June 2005 reveal that ADHB has an underlying deficit of $100 million and there are possible plans to cut more than 1000 staff as well as services.

“It is a damning indictment on Labour that despite ADHB having been under ‘intensive monitoring’ for two years it has come to this,” says Dr Hutchison.

“What is far more damning is that senior government Ministers knew on 27 June but kept the information under wraps.

“Annette King has continued to crow about her supposed achievements as Health Minister, all the while knowing that New Zealand’s biggest DHB is at serious financial risk and jobs and services could well be cut.”

ADHB board papers further reveal that ‘the culture has not been one of cost control or disciplined financial management’, and that ‘the actions which ADHB must take include some which may generate high levels of discomfort within the DHB and potentially intense media comment’.

“Labour Ministers have demonstrated unbelievable deceit by sitting on this information before the election. The public and staff at ADHB deserve an assurance from the Health Minister and the board that there will be no cuts in services or medical and nursing staff,” says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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