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Cases drain Hutt Valley DHB's coffers

Last updated 12:27 10/02/2014

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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, saying 20 high-cost, one-off treatments which needed to be paid by the board had been done in the first six months of this financial year.

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.

"It's unusual – a statistical anomaly," Dyer said.

Cases this financial year included one costing $250,000 involving an extremely premature baby and one of 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.

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, Dyer said.

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

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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