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Cunliffe must answer on DHB blowout shambles

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman

6 November 2008

Cunliffe must answer on DHB blowout shambles

National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall says Labour must explain why it has let the deficit situation at Capital & Coast District Health Board get so bad that there are now threats staff won’t be paid.

“This is a shambles and the Minister is letting it happen. No doubt he was hoping no one would find out about this before Saturday.”

Mr Ryall is commenting after reports today that the CCDHB is facing a $70 million budget blow-out and is now facing a stand-off with the Health Ministry over extra funding to get it through.

“This didn’t happen overnight, yet the Minister has let this descend to a point where the board’s now saying it might not be able to pay staff. This is unacceptable. What other problems are lurking in DHB annual plans? ”

Mr Ryall says the deficit also represents another broken health promise.

“Helen Clark promised to stop deficit funding and that Labour would ‘fund a balanced budget for our public health services’. More empty promises.

“After nine long years, billions of extra dollars, and thousands of extra bureaucrats the public should have noticed a vast improvement in health services.

“And the problems are not isolated to Wellington.

“Just this week a leaked report showed district health boards in the country’s north are under real pressure, particularly in terms of the workforce crisis – a crisis that Labour refused to accept as a reality.

“New Zealand needs a Government that will tackle the challenges facing the health system. National has a comprehensive plan to deliver better, sooner, more convenient health services.”

ENDS

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