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Today’s Budget announcements for Vote Health amount to nothing more than another failure in this Government’s self-proclaimed ‘year of delivery’, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“The sea of red ink we’ve seen our nation’s District Health Boards sink deeper into won’t be fixed and the $569m allocated for DHB cost pressures will hardly be enough to even keep the lights on. It’s even $81m less than the $650m David Clark said was needed two years ago.

“DHBs are going to have to start the new financial year already needing to scrimp and save, as this Budget doesn’t give them enough to get ahead when DHBs are heading for deficits of $500 million by the end of June.  

“On top of this the following underfunded initiatives and broken promises is a sample of why the Health sector will be deeply disappointed in Budget 2019:

  • No money for Independent Midwives.
  • No remedy for the broken promise on GP fees reductions for all New Zealanders.
  • A measly 1% increase in medicines funding that won’t keep pace with population growth and demand pressure.
  • No free health check for senior New Zealanders.

“The Government was left with growing surpluses and made huge promises for the Health portfolio which they have failed to deliver on. Instead they have left a litany of broken promises.”

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