'Unusual' costs cause $1.3m blowout

TOM HUNT
Last updated 12:13 10/02/2014

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Hutt Valley

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A glut of high-cost, one-off cases have put a $1.3 million hole in Hutt Valley's health board's budget.

Hutt Valley DHB chief executive Graham Dyer delivered the news to a full board meeting today, explaining this financial year had already seen 20 high-cost, one off treatments which needed to be paid by the board.

They included a $250,000 case of an extremely premature baby and a burn victim with a similar cost.

When the Hutt Valley health board does not have the facilities to deal with cases, it sends them to other facilities around the country.

For example, a burns victim could be treated in Canterbury, but Hutt Valley DHB would pay the costs.

In the last financial year there were 14 cases where patients had to be transferred elsewhere with a cost to the board of more than $100,000.

But in the first six months of this financial year, there had been 20 such cases.

''It's unusual - a statistical anomaly.''

It was hoped the board would be able to end the financial year within budget, but these type of unforeseen costs were impossible to factor into budgets correctly, Mr Dyer said.

The board has annual revenue of $464m, including almost $382m from the Ministry of Health.

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- The Dominion Post

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