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$2.2b extra to boost public health services

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
19 May 2011

$2.2b extra to boost public health services

Budget 2011 is delivering an extra $2.2 billion to public health services over the next four years, including an additional $585 million in initiatives in 2011/12.

“Vote Health is the biggest recipient of Budget 2011,” Health Minister Tony Ryall says. “This demonstrates the Government's strong commitment to protecting and growing our public health services, despite the difficult economic times.

“In the next financial year, we are providing $585 million for health initiatives – made up of $420 million of new money, plus around $165 million from savings going straight back into healthcare.”

District Health Boards will receive around $400 million - $350 million in population-based funding plus over $50 million for service contracts from the Ministry of Health.

The $2.2 billion extra over four years will fund new initiatives including:

• $18 million for 40 extra medical training places – part of the Government's promise to boost the number of medical training places by 200 over five years.

• A further $54.5 million for maternity initiatives to improve safety and quality, and extra WellChild visits, with a particular focus on first time mothers.

• $80 million for widened access to medicines. It is expected around 32,000 patients in the first year will benefit from this extra funding.

• $68 million for more elective surgery, continuing the record increase of 4,000 extra operations a year, and reducing waiting times.

• An additional $40 million for dementia care, which is expected to provide almost 200 extra beds over the next two years and extra respite care.

• $40 million for mental health, including $4 million for dementia-related respite care.

• An extra $130 million for disability support services to meet rising needs and costs.

• $80 million extra from DHBs for GP visit subsidies and $14 million for more people qualifying in programmes such as very low cost access and free under sixes.

“Budget 2011 acknowledges the importance of protecting and growing our public health services,” Mr Ryall says.

“Despite the serious economic environment, this Government will have invested an additional $1.5 billion of new resources into health in its first three years in office to meet our commitment to a strong and enduring public health service.”

ENDS

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