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Cheques Bouncing In Public Health System

Posted on 06 Nov 2008

Capital and Coast District Health Board's $70 million blowout means that staff may not be able to be paid, and adds further strength to ACT's policy of disbanding the country's 21 District Health Boards, ACT Deputy Leader and Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"CCDHB's expectation is that it will be bailed out by the Health Ministry, which is threatening to drip-feed money in arrears, and just who will meet the shortfall remains unexplained," Mrs Roy said.

"Wellington patients should expect further cuts to services - the new regional hospital will have fewer beds than the previous hospital, despite a growing population and increased responsibilities to patients in the lower North Island.

"DHBs should be disbanded and replaced with small appointed committees responsible for providing the best quality services in the best time at the best cost.

"Private and public providers should be working co-operatively, with doctors and nurses given the opportunity to run their own departments - after all, it is the health professionals who have held the public system together over the past decade despite widespread systemic dysfunction.

"DHBs were set up to add extra bureaucracy between patients and the Health Minister. Patients receiving quality care quickly were the last consideration of a Labour Government that was more interested in face-saving than life-saving," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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