Palliative care demand, accommodation, and patient travel could drive the Southern District Health Board $50,000 above the ''personal health payment'' budget if high levels of referrals continue.
Members of a joint public health and disability committee today heard the budgeted number of beds to manage ''short-term, exceptional circumstance'' patients in various rest homes in Otago is six but between 17 and 22 beds are actually being used monthly.
The pressure point is included in the financial report for the combined Disability Support Advisory/ Community and Public Health Advisory committee, which went before members today.
General manager of finance and funding Robert Mackway-Jones says in his report to the committee that about $90,000 of the year-to-date variance from this should correct itself but if current levels continue there could be a monthly variance of about $50,000.
While the board was adhering to the strict criteria used nationally for travel and accommodation costs, there was a high level of referrals based on patient need, he said.
Hospital-level residential care is also over budget by $200,000 because July had about 19 more beds than budgeted.
Rest home and dementia-level beds are in line with budgeted expectations, he said.
- The Southland Times
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