Leak reveals 10 DHBs face budget cuts -- Labour

Leak reveals 10 DHBs face budget cuts -- Labour

New leaked documents show 10 district health boards face cuts in this year's Budget.

DHBs in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all face cuts in real terms, although DHB funding in dollar terms will be going up $340 million overall.

Labour deputy leader and health spokesperson Annette King concedes some DHBs will be better off in the Budget, but says it all comes down to where you live.

She accuses the Government of "postcode surgery" and told The Nation "it depends where you live as to whether you will meet the financial threshold of that DHB and get an operation".

Ms King says figures from Infometrics show health has been underfunded to the tune of $1.7 billion over the past five years.

However, Minister for Health Jonathon Coleman rejects Labour's claims government spending is not keeping up with population growth and inflation.

Dr Coleman says he doesn't have the numbers, but believes health funding has increased in real terms overall.

"I can't give you that figure right now, but what I can tell you is it's increasing above the rate of inflation."

Dr Coleman says in his time as minister, health funding has gone up by $4 billion.

"During the time that I've been Minister of Health, funding has been ahead of inflation.

"There's no way you can say that health funding has been cut [in real terms]."

He concedes some DHBs are not replacing staff, but says overall staff numbers are up and mortality rates down.

Ms King says should Labour get into Government it would look at injecting what it sees as the missing $1.7 billion over its first three years in office.

"We will begin immediately by covering cost pressures, demographics and ageing and backfilling as we go," she says.

"Health has always been a priority for a Labour government."

Funding difference by your region for 2016-2017:

Increases:

Northland: 2.13 percent Auckland City: 0.49 percent Counties Manukau: 0.13 percent Bay of Plenty: 1.49 percent Waikato: 1.50 percent Lakes District: 3.06 percent Gisbourne/Tairawhiti: 2.70 percent Whanganui: 0.60 percent Palmerston North: 0.82 percent Southern: 0.80 percent

Decreases:

Waitemata: -0.51 percent Hakwes Bay: -0.01 percent Wairarapa: -0.15 percent Taranaki: -0.29 percent Hutt: -0.15 percent Capital and Coast: -1.54 percent Nelson/Malborough: -0.75 percent Christchurch: -0.98 percent South Canterbury: -0.15 percent

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