District health boards are struggling with a $54 million shortfall in their budgets, increasing the stress on our health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.
“The deficit was expected to be in the vicinity of $19 million. It’s blown out to nearly three times that.
“Thirteen DHBs are in deficit. Among the worst budgetary blowouts are Lakes, Capital and Coast, Midcentral, Tairawhiti and Taranaki.
“Capital and Coast is now facing a deficit of $13.5 million while Lakes has a blowout of nearly $6 million.
“DHBs say they are in trouble because they are not getting enough money to meet the increase in demand. Two boards have not even been funded to meet their staffing costs.
“This means additional funding boards received in Budget 2016 will be swallowed up by their deficits.
"Doctors are already up in arms over work stress and these figures mean things can only get worse before they get better.
“Jonathan Coleman has to take their budget blow outs seriously. After starving the health system of $1.7 billion it’s no surprise we have ended up in this mess,” says Annette King.