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$2 billion boost for District Health Boards

Hon Dr David Clark
Minister of Health


17 May 2018


$2 billion boost for District Health Boards

Budget 2018 lays the foundations for stronger, more sustainably funded District Health Boards (DHBs) that can deliver the services New Zealanders expect and deserve, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.

“We all know DHBs have been starved of funding in recent years. That’s put pressure on staff and facilities – and put the squeeze on services delivered to the public,” says David Clark.

“Budget 2018 delivers an extra $2.2 billion to DHBs over the next four years to help relieve the pressure they’ve been under. This will ensure our DHBs can maintain their standards of care, mental health services and support for older New Zealanders.

“This is the largest DHB funding increase in the last decade, but even that will not be enough to make up for nine years of underfunding. Rebuilding our health system will take sustained investment.

“To ensure we have a sustainable health sector, DHBs need to be able to meet operating costs that are driven by changes in the populations they serve, wage costs and inflation. This Budget starts the process of making sure they are funded to do that.

“To provide additional support to DHBs struggling to deliver services within their current funding, the Government has set aside a further $100 million next year for additional deficit support.

“A further $126.0 million of operational funding over the next four years is also being invested directly into planned care to keep up with demand for elective surgeries and other procedures.

“The Coalition Government is committed to building a better future for our children, not leaving the big challenges for them to fix later. That means putting the wellbeing of all our people first and rebuilding the critical public services, like health, that keep us strong,” says David Clark.

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