DHB paid provider for vacant positions

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 12:44 28/11/2012

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The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board was paying Maori healthcare provider Te Rapuora o te Waiharakeke for vacant positions on its staff.

DHB Maori health director Harold Wereta said the board was paying regular invoices from Te Rapuora for positions that were not filled.

Some positions had been vacant for longer than the two months allowed in the contract for recruitment.

"Therefore the amount invoiced by the provider was incorrect," Mr Wereta said.

The health board is negotiating with Te Rapuora on a plan to recover the money owed.

He would not specify how much money was involved.

The decision to close the Blenheim-based Maori health provider by December 31 meant the board was working to find alternative providers to take up the contracts.

The board would need to work quickly to make sure services were available for clients from January 1.

Work would continue with all Maori health providers in the region to develop a coalition of Maori providers, Mr Wereta said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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