News that the Waikato District Health Board could lose $2.7 million from its budget because it failed to make an elective target is downright disturbing, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.
“This is a DHB that has tried to make sure its patients get to specialists within four months, but risks failing and paying the cost.
“They are struggling to meet this target and are organising extra clinics to avoid the penalty.
“All this is further evidence that our health system is creaking under the Government’s decision not to fund healthcare for the $1.7 billion needed to keep up with inflation and population increases.
“Waikato has blamed the failure to reach its target on staff shortages. These shortages are a result of the extremely tight budgets that DHBs are now having to absorb.
“It’s clear that a cut of $2.7 million from an electives budget of $29.6 million is big money. The Ministry is not solving the electives problem by punishing the DHB and cutting its vote.
"Waikato's hard working DHB staff are thoroughbreds that should be properly resourced and supported. Yet the Government seems intent on beating each tiring horse ever more brutally. We need to support those going the extra mile,” says Dr David Clark.