Health Funding Not Matching Population Growth

Published: Thu 6 Oct 2016 10:26 AM
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
6 OCTOBER 2016
Health Funding Not Matching Population Growth
Health spending is dropping per head of population, but Health Minister is putting out propaganda to say it is increasing, New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters said.
Speaking at the NZ Aged Care Association conference in Auckland this morning, Mr Peters said the direct cause of a nationwide doctors’ strike later this month was doctors being overworked through lack of funding.
“Three months ago, two thirds of New Zealand’s DHBs reported a combined budget deficit of $54 million because they are under immense pressure from a rapidly rising population.
“A bigger population means more patients, more demands for emergency services, surgery and hospital beds and a chronic need for more staff.
“DHBs had to spend $144 million more than planned for the year ended June 30 to employ extra nurses.
“On Tuesday, Dr Coleman deliberately avoided saying current health expenditure had to provide for an extra 440,000 people - the population increase since National became government in 2008.
“It’s true this year’s Budget committed an extra $2.2 billion to health over the next four years, but it is not true this funding is adequate to meet cost pressures and population growth.
“The first thing to take the pressure off is to place a lid on immigration – nearly 70,000 immigrants are settling in New Zealand permanently every year and our health system just can’t cope,” Mr Peters said.

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