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Health $1 Billion on buildings and equipment over 3 years

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister of Health
16 March 2012 Media statement
Health $1 Billion on buildings and equipment over past 3 years

Health Minister Tony Ryall today assisted laying the foundation stone for construction of the new $65m Whakatane public hospital.

The new hospital is part of a significant $940 million of hospital building and equipment projects approved under the National led government since 2008.

"At a time when money has never been so tight, our government has worked hard to protect and grow the public health service.

"In addition to new building and equipment projects, the government has invested $1.5 billion of new money into the public health service over the past three years. No other part of the public sector has been so well-treated.

"This unprecedented level of funding has supported our clinical teams and managers to provide even more service for patients. More operations, faster treatment, and more effective prevention.

"In other countries, health staff have had their wages cut. In other countries, services have been scaled back significantly. Here in New Zealand, over the past three years our hospitals have employed over 800 extra doctors (senior and junior) and over 2000 extra nurses (excluding health care assistants). There has never ever been more staff in our hospitals than today.

"Because the health service has been so preferred for funding over the past three years...and the next three years... we have a responsibility as a service to keep to our budgets and to spend them wisely.

"Every district health board (DHB) must continue looking for best value from every dollar. They must continue moving money around to improve services, as they have been.

"In this year's budget there will be even more money for health services. DHB budgets will never have been so high. But money is still tight in New Zealand, and everyone in health will have to play a part in making sure that extra funding is well used.

"It's an exciting day here in the Bay of Plenty with this event. And I congratulate all those involved."

ENDS

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