SDHB Injected With $7 Million

Minister says deficit may reach $42 million

The government has announced it will be giving the cash-strapped Southern District Health Board $7 million to help pay its outstanding bills.

However, Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman confirmed in a statement that no more money would be given to the board until it has confirmed its deficit for the 2015/2016 financial year.

Earlier this year, Coleman said the SDHB was forecasting a final deficit of $27 million for the current financial year. Coleman said the deficit is forecast to further increase to “between $30 million and $42 million”.

A five percent budget cut for the majority of health providers in the southern region was introduced in September in an attempt to solve the board’s financial issues.

Mike Hoshek, acting executive director of finance for the SDHB, said “the cash injection was received as part of the 2014/15 deficit support”.

Hoshek said the funds will not be used for anything specific, but will “be used to support our ongoing working capital requirements when our own cash reserves run down”.

Hoshek said further cash injections may be requested in the next financial year as needed, but that they are “only received when we have a cash need”.

“We will require deficit support as we continue to operate under a deficit. The cash support will only be given when we have a cash flow need.”

The expected deficit will make up more than half the deficit of the New Zealand district health boards combined, and the exact figure will be confirmed in the next few weeks.

This article first appeared in Issue 26, 2015.
Posted 11:58am Sunday 4th October 2015 by Bridie Boyd.