Health budget stuff up – incompetent

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, June 16th, 2017 - 9 comments
Categories: health, national, useless - Tags: , , , ,

What a mess – ‘This can never happen again’: Health minister furious at $38m Budget blunder

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.


9 comments on “Health budget stuff up – incompetent”

  1. Sacha 1

    This is the Ministry of Health’s second major financial stuffup in a few years under two different CFOs. Common factor is the same CEO – whose minister does not expect him to resign. Accountability is for the little people.

  2. Cinny 2

    This is bad, really bad. DHB’s are already severally stretched and should not have to give back promised money. Joyce should use some of the mystery surplus to take up the slack. So sick of the outgoing government, looking forward to seeing the backs of them.

    Have been reading the write up in Stuff about it, and Coleman is blaming Director General of Health Chai Chuah.

    Question please, should a minister be accountable for his own math work, ensuring their departments budget is correct, or should they leave it up to some one else, leaving them to also take a fall should something go wrong? Or should both Chai Chuah and Coleman both man up and be accountable, due to Chais previous $18 million stuff up and Colemans continued backing of Chai?

    Thanks in advance.

    • DoublePlusGood 2.1

      This is Chai Chuah’s fault in both instances, and he should resign. That Coleman has not sacked him subsequently means Coleman is not up to the job and should also resign.

  3. Incognito 3

    And the winner is: the consultancy firm.

    Isn’t it funny that Ministerial responsibility and accountability now means calling in the consultancy firms? I guess this also means we might learn more from reading the Annual Reports of these firms than through requests under the OIA. Quite handy really this kind of PPP.

    • tc 3.1

      Consultancy been a massive winner under national, especially when done by mates at the big 4 and law firms.

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        Indeed, but it is not accountability. I’ll pay you a million to write a 5-page report and if I like it enough I’ll do business with you again. If I don’t like it enough I’ll send you back the draft version and you can invoice me for that so we’re all happy and get what we want. In the mean time I’ll talk to my PR consultants on how to feed the final sanitised spell-checked report to our friends in the MSM. It is all pretty legal and paid for by the idiots tax payers.

        • Mrs Brillo

          Incognito, this sounds like an echo of my own experience under both Labour and National administrations. Too much gets rewritten after the draft reports or reviews are handed over to the minister’s/PM’s team.

          • Incognito

            Oh, you’re quite right that it is not restricted to only the party that has personal responsibility on its banner and Law & Order on its flag and whoever is in power will fall in the same traps and make the same mistakes, sooner or later.

            However, this doesn’t justify the butt covering and avoiding of embarrassment (FFS!) passing off as ‘accountability’.

            I have no problem whatsoever with a politician stuffing up, admitting it and then taking decisive corrective action without being an utter jerk. At times it seems we hold them to ridiculous standards as if they are Tom Cruise with the brains of Stephen Hawking. Politicians are as human as we are so why are we expecting so much more from them than we do from ourselves?

            To generalise, for some reason we really suck at management and leadership in NZ and it clearly shows.

  4. infused 4

    yes, baited headline. hook, sinker.

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