DHB plan gets govt seal of approval

The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board will work to have a $1.5 million surplus.

The board has secured government approval for an annual plan outlining how it will operate for the next three years - and the future looks positive.

The plan acts as a forecast and road map, laying out information about what services the board will fund, where the funding is coming from, and what might appear in its budgets. It will have $439m funding and expects to have a surplus of $1.5m at the end of next June, and surpluses of $3m and $4.5m for the next two financial years respectively.

That is a turnaround from the end of 2012, when the board was looking at finishing that financial year with an $8.2m deficit.

Board chair Jenny Black said its current position was "much more optimistic" than the board had seen in the last few years. It had been great to deliver the previous year's surplus back to Nelson and Marlborough .

Chief executive Chris Fleming said the current year's surplus would go towards investments that would make sure it would be more financially stable in the future.

"Surpluses are vital in ensuring that the DHB positions itself for significant future capital investment, particularly an expected redevelopment of the Nelson Hospital site within the next 10 years."

Infrastructure plans were currently focused on strengthening earthquake prone buildings and structures.

Reports to yesterday's board meeting show new investments of $5.5m across the health system, covering areas such as theatre staffing and a psychologist to support district-wide paediatrics.

The Nelson Mail