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Taking $27 Million Out Of Health Board Will Hurt

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Taking $27 Million Out Of Health Board Will Hurt

"The long awaited Capital & Coast District Health Board District Annual Plan released today reveals that the DHB will suffer $27 million in spending reductions. These will hurt Wellingtonians and need to be reversed," said C&CDHB Board member David Choat, elected under the banner of Care not Cuts. Health Minister Tony Ryall has approved the plan submitted by the previous Board in June.

"The message I have been sent from Wellingtonians is that the DHB cannot afford to face cuts in spending and the resulting loss in services."

"At one point, the plan claims that $4.5 million of the savings can be achieved through productivity improvements. But even if this is true, the majority of the expenditure cuts ($22.5 million) will involve service cuts," David Choat said.

$17 million in cuts are to come from Capital & Coast's so-called 'provider arm' (which mainly means hospital services) and $10 million out of funding to service providers in the community.

"The plan doesn't give specifics about whose services are to be cut or how. But, on the community side, it looks like primary health ($3 million), mental health ($2 million) and support services to the elderly and others with ongoing needs ($1.4 million) are likely to suffer.

"The people of Wellington, Porirua and Kapiti deserve answers about what kind of cuts are being proposed, and who will be affected. I intend to ask questions, and tell the truth to the public about the impact of these cuts."

"The tragedy is that we actually need to see greater funding, in particular to address third-world rates of Rheumatic Fever among children in Porirua."

"The Minister has approved this plan but I will be asking the Board to put a firm but constructive case to him that we cannot afford to face these funding cuts and ask that they be reversed." The next meeting of the Board is on 13 December 2010.

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