19 May 2011

Health system 'still short of funds'

9:21 pm on 19 May 2011

The Council of Trade Unions says more cuts will be needed in health following the Budget.

Overall health spending has been increased by 4.3% to $13.9 billion, and includes $585 million of new spending.

The Government says this is an achievement in tough economic times.

However Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg estimates the sector is still short of funds by $80 million to $100 million.


Mr Rosenberg says that means existing problems within the health system will continue, and more cuts will be needed.

The Labour Party's health spokesperson, Grant Robertson, says financial pressures facing district health boards will increase.

Mr Robertson says he does not believe the funding will allow health services to continue being delivered as they are now.

He said that, in real terms, the Budget will mean a cut for DHBs, which are facing increased costs due to inflation and an aging and growing population.