Health services to take $6.7m cut
The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board has set "a challenging savings plan" of $6.7 million for the year ahead.
It has released its annual plan and chief executive Chris Fleming says it will be looking to save 1.6 per cent of revenue to return to a break-even position.
It has been operating under a multimillion-dollar deficit since the end of last year, but is expected to break even by the close of this financial year.
The board was assessed as "deteriorating" and placed under intensive monitoring by the National Health Board in January due to ongoing budgeting challenges, but was upgraded to "improving" in July.
It ended the last financial year $100,000 ahead of budget with a deficit of $2.9 million. It had $418m funding.
Mr Fleming said the board's revenue was likely to top that of last year by $9.3 million, describing the board as "living within its means".
"We have outlined a challenging savings plan of $6.7 million, or 1.6 per cent of revenue, to return to a break-even position."
Health Minister Tony Ryall said he would be watching the board's management of its financial performance "with keen interest" over the next year.
But he praised the organisation for its overall progress.
Mr Ryall emphasised the importance of sticking to the "key result" areas and health targets identified by the Government.
He said the board had performed well in most areas, but needed to improve its results for the "better help for smokers to quit" programme, and increase heart and diabetes checks.
Mr Fleming said the board would concentrate on strengthening its commitment to robust clinical governance. It would continue to work with the Health Quality and Safety Commission to improve services in the community, and would also remain engaged with the South Island Health Alliance.
He said the relationship between Nelson Bays Primary Health and Kimi Hauora Wairau Marlborough Primary Health Organisation was being "revitalised".
He said a top of the south service review would continue to find "sustainable solutions" for secondary hospital services between the Nelson and Wairau hospitals.
"This will deliver on the board's commitments of providing 24/7 acute and elective services between both hospitals."
The review began this month with independent clinicians talking to orthopaedic and general surgery staff at both hospitals.
In June the board announced job cuts, including 7.7 fulltime-equivalent positions in organisational development and corporate services. They included maintenance and property staff, business analysts and human resources staff.
It planned to remove another six senior management positions.
The board employs 2338 staff in 1846 fulltime-equivalent positions.
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