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DHB funding goes from bad to worse

Health Spokesperson
DHB funding goes from bad to worse

Funding for District Health Boards is on a downward spiral, with the next year set to be the worst by far, says Labour’s Health spokesperson, Maryan Street.

“The recent Auditor-General’s report on DHBs shows several are struggling to bring their deficits down while at the same time retaining the staff they need to do their job.

“In 2010-2011, the DHBs received $417.3 million in new money. For the 2011-2012 year they received $350 million. Over the next financial year the budget is expected to fall to $262.5 million.

“No one can tell me that this won’t end in cuts to frontline staff and clinical positions – because the DHBs’ budgets are largely spent on staff,” Maryan Street said.

“It is common knowledge that the most that can be expected in new money across the whole of Vote: Health in 2012-2013 is $320-350 million. If 75% of that goes to DHBs, that is $262.5 million, nearly $90 million less than last year.

“Tony Ryall made a promise in the House just last week that ‘the Government is determined to protect and grow the public health service’. What a joke.

“Each year, the government expects the DHBs to do more, on less. It is great to see them working together to make more efficient use of resources, but demanding savings has a much wider impact.

“In the next financial Boards will be required to absorb KiwiSaver contributions, which the government has funded previously, and as usual, absorb pay increases.

“Despite Mr Ryall’s assertions, slashing budgets by so much will lead to the loss of clinical jobs,” said Maryan Street.

“DHBs will have no choice.”


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