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Auckland health board pays out big redundancies

Published: Fri 1 Nov 2002 02:07 PM
Auckland health board pays out big redundancies
Auckland District Health Board has found $3 million to pay out staff redundancies in the past 18 months but it couldn’t settle the radiographers strike this week at a cost of $300,000, says National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.
Figures provided by the board following an Official Information Act request by National show that between July 2001 and July 2002 the board paid out $2.78 million dollars in 117 redundancy payments, and between July 2002 and September 20 a further $270,894 to six redundant staff.
“I find it extraordinary that the board has this week shipped critical patients around the country, putting their lives at risk, over a mere $300,000 when it is paying out millions in redundancies to people who won’t be contributing to its workforce.
“The priority of health boards is to provide the best health care they can for the dollars they get. The Minister has to ask whether $3m in redundancies is good value for money, particularly when district health boards are operating with such high deficits.
“We are seeing the price of hospital deficits. Staff numbers are cut, those staff that remain can’t get paid adequately and less glamorous areas of the health service suffer - yesterday we learned that mental health funding to district health boards was being siphoned off into other areas.
“These examples of health spending show the Minister simply is not in control of her portfolio,” Dr Lynda Scott said.

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