District Health Board Deficit Falls
The combined deficit of New Zealand's 21 district health boards (DHBs) was $5.1 million for the September 2003 quarter,
according to Statistics New Zealand. This was a $38.0 million decrease on the $43.1 million deficit recorded in the June
2003 quarter, and is $27.8 million lower than the deficit in the September 2002 quarter. The smaller deficit was largely
the result of a $64.9 million increase in funding from the Ministry of Health, with funding of $1,399.0 million for the
September 2003 quarter. Total DHB revenue rose to $1,727.3 million.
Total DHB operating expenses rose to $1,732.3 million in the September 2003 quarter. The two major components of this
expenditure are the direct provision of public hospital and health services (HHS), at $1,100.0 million, and the purchase
of medical services from non-government providers and inter-DHB services, at $609.3 million. The operating expenses of
the HHS providers were 3.5 percent higher than in the September 2002 quarter. The key expense item, employee costs, rose
to $670.0 million, up 4.4 percent on the same quarter last year.
Total DHB investment in fixed assets in the latest quarter was $112.2 million. While this was down on the $135.8 million
expended in the June 2003 quarter, investment remains at high levels. For the 12 months ended 30 September 2003, DHBs
have spent $439.6 million on additions to fixed assets, up 20.6 percent on expenditure in the previous 12 months.