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Health Minister admits shortfall in DHB funding

Maryan Street
Health Spokesperson

28 February 2012

Minister admits shortfall in DHB funding

Health Minister Tony Ryall has failed to explain why several DHBs are being forced to save millions of dollars at a time when he claims to be actually increasing their funding to help them cover their costs, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Maryan Street.

“This doesn’t make economic sense. The truth is that DHBs are not getting enough money even to keep up with increases in the cost of living and demographic changes, let alone to do any of the other things that Tony Ryall expects of them.

“There is a gap between the $576 million the Ministry of Health told the Minister the Boards needed to keep up with cost growth and the $420 million of new money which the Minister confirmed again today that he had provided to them.

“The shortfall of $156 million means that the DHBs can't even stand still. Trying to squeeze more blood out of these stones is just not going to work unless serious cuts are made into frontline services.

"Fudging the numbers isn't going to help the situation. I’m sure we will see more job losses and clinical positions gone by the end of the year," said Maryan Street.

ENDS

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