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Minister driving worsening DHB performance

The financial performance of DHBs continues to deteriorate on this Government’s watch and it’s causing real concern for the future of the health system, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

Recently published DHB Sector Financial Performance data revealed the combined deficit grew from $83 million in July and August 2018 to $103 million over the same period in 2019.

“The Government has promised much and delivered little on health, resulting in delays, deficits and denials for New Zealanders who need healthcare,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Health Minister David Clark is putting DHBs in a parlous financial position through sheer incompetence.”

“These latest figures showed a whopping 24 per cent increase in DHB deficits. That is unsustainable. All but one of New Zealand’s 20 DHBs are now in deficit.

“David Clark has shown little appetite or ability to remedy the situation. He’s out of his depth and he knows it, which is why he quietly released the data online over the summer period.

“The Health Minister has had ample opportunity to provide funding that would meet the costs he’s imposed on DHBs through salary settlements and increased spending commitments. His failure to do so has left DHBs between a rock and a hard place.

“Many DHBs have annual plans that are yet to be approved and they’re under pressure to slow recruitment of the much-needed staff to deliver the care Kiwis need.”

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