National's Roger Sowry is standing by the latest district health board deficit figures he has compiled which show the
combined deficit for the 2001-02 financial year is over $240 million.
"Annette King is claiming that the projected deficit will be less than $100 million. What this has to mean is that the
Government will put an extra $100 million into district health boards to keep them viable," Mr Sowry said. "Currently
the combined projected deficit for the country's 21 boards is $241 million. The Government is saying board deficits
won't be known for some time. The Minister and her Associate, Ruth Dyson, can find the figures in the board papers going
in front of boards around the country if they are interested.
"Ruth Dyson's comment in Parliament that people who talk about the deficits are 'peddling misery rather than facts'
shows the blatant ignorance of the country's health needs by this Government, an ignorance which nurses and patients are
paying the price.
"This Government has been in office two years. It simply can't keep blaming National for the woes the Labour-Alliance
Government's created in health.
"National left the total district health board operating deficit at $6 million in 1999. In a matter of two short years
Labour's mismanagement has seen the deficit soar to $241 million, yet it continues to ignore the crisis situation it has
created in health," Mr Sowry said.