Blame for Southern DHB financial crisis lies with underfunding - PSA media release

The Public Service Association (PSA) says the increased deficit at Southern DHB is due to underfunding of the health sector.

Southern DHB has told staff, including more than 950 PSA members, that it is facing a larger than expected deficit and will need to focus on cost control and cost reduction.

Richard Wagstaff, PSA National Secretary, said “Underfunding of the health sector is an ongoing problem that impacts on services, patients and staff,”

“Southern DHB is now joining the list of DHBs forced to make cuts thanks to this Government’s obsession with getting a budget surplus at all costs.

“We expect Southern DHB will engage with the PSA and other unions before making cuts that risk unfairly impacting on patients and staff.

“Adding to the harmful 5 year old cap on administrative staffing numbers, Southern DHB is now planning a three month freeze on recruiting non-clinical staff, which will only make matters worse.

“New Zealanders are rightly proud of our public health system, but budget shortfalls are putting it at risk,” said Richard Wagstaff.