Cash-strapped District Health Boards are being made to hand back some of their funding, after a Ministry of Health blunder saw some given too much money in the Budget.
A total of 14 DHBs were over funded, and would have to relinquish some of their funding allocations to balance out six DHBs who were not given enough money according to a complex formula.
DHBs were awarded $439m in the budget – that total figure would not change, but up to $38m of those funds was doled out incorrectly.
Labour’s health spokesman David Clark said the error had left Coleman with “egg on his face”.
“This has turned financial planning for crucial front line services upside down, while generating further uncertainty for thousands of DHB staff and patients,” he said.
“This mess adds insult to injury after a Budget that offered nothing new on mental health, failed to fund primary care adequately and allowed the funding shortfall under this Government’s watch to stretch out to a cumulative $2.3 billion.
“While this is embarrassing for the Minister, the bigger impact is that some DHBs will have to make sharper cuts than expected. This affects patients directly. After nine years, patients deserve better. It’s time for a fresh approach,” Clark said.
How badly will DHBs be affected by this clawback?
I guess English can’t be too angry at Coleman – just last year he stuffed up his own numbers to the tune of $160m per year when “explaining” why he was vetoing an extension to paid parental leave – English admits maths error in bill veto defence.