Health Fund Cuts Could Devastate Patients
“Senior doctors are warning the public and government that reported health funding cuts will be devastating for patients,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to reported expected health funding cuts of 5-10% in Auckland next year.
"There is every reason to believe that if health funding is cut by 5 to 10% in Auckland, the rest of New Zealand will also be subjected to similar health cuts.”
“Over recent years public hospitals have been under-funded. While hospital costs have increased by around 6% per year, funding has only increased by around 3% (through the ‘future funding track’ formula). It has been made worse by the senior doctor workforce crisis in district health boards because New Zealand is failing to offer competitive employment conditions.”
“Funding cuts of up to 10%, on top of historic under-funding trend and senior doctor shortages, will risk compromising patient access to public hospitals, the quality of care, and patient safety.”
“Perhaps the greater irony is that funding cuts don’t actually save money. They will end up costing more through, for example, increased chronic illnesses and emergency admissions.”
“We agree with the government’s desire to improve the effectiveness of health spending through, for example, increasing health professional leadership in the system. But cutting funding will undermine this commendable objective.”
“Health cuts don’t heal. Instead they hurt patients, stress out health professionals, and become more expensive” concluded Mr Powell.