Budget 2016 Health announcements

27 May 2016

New funding for Hauora Tairawhiti in Budget 2016 increases the DHB’s total allocation to a record level, says Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Hauora Tairawhiti will receive an extra $8 million in new money this year, taking the DHB’s total funding to $167 million for 2016/17. That’s an extra $40 million in funding over the last eight years.

“Delivering better health services remains this Government’s number one funding priority,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Government’s investment in health will reach a record $16.1 billion in 2016/17. An extra $568 million will be invested for 2016/17 - the biggest increase in seven years, and almost $170 million more than last year.

“DHBs will benefit from an extra $1.6 billion over four years to invest in services, improve access, and to meet cost pressures and population changes.

“This investment in Budget 2016 will help New Zealanders continue to access the healthcare they need. The new Health Strategy sets the direction for a more integrated and patient-centred system. We want more services delivered in the community, with more prevention and self-management.”

This extra funding over the next four years includes:

• $124 million for Pharmac to provide more access to new medicines.

• $96 million to provide more elective surgery, a key Government priority.

• $39.3 million to start the roll-out of a bowel screening programme.

• $42 million for vulnerable groups:

  • $18 million to expand the Healthy Homes Initiative which aims to reduce preventable diseases in young children;
  • $12 million to increase support for primary care and social services to enable people to access mental health help earlier;
  • $12 million to expand a successful programme which provides intensive alcohol and drug support for pregnant women.

Hauora Tairawhiti responds

The extra funding announced in the budget for health, and in particular health in Tairāwhiti, is welcome news says Hauora Tairāwhiti Board Chairman David Scott.

“It is pleasing to see the government investing in an improved health service for our district. Tairāwhiti has New Zealand’s lowest life expectancy and some of the highest health needs in the country.

“We are working hard to change that. Our focus on providing more health care closer to where people live, equity of access to services for all, a healthy start in life for all Tairāwhiti tamariki and developing our facilities to be more efficient and fit for purpose, are all supported by this announcement. 

“This will also allow us to continue our cross social sector initiatives, expand our telehealth and increase our work with Primary Health to assist our goal of having people being more responsible for their own health and well-being"

Tairāwhiti people will welcome more access to new medicines and more elective surgery, says Hauora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Jim Green.

“We have been consistently meeting our targets for elective surgery and this announcement means that can continue.

"Last year we did 2185 elective procedures; 45 more procedures than the year before. We have already surpassed that number this year with three months to go.

"These procedures, which include hip and knee replacements, make a huge difference to the quality of life for people who need them and are important to keep Tairāwhiti’s ageing population mobile.

"With the budget announcement those increased numbers will continue.

“Particularly pleasing is the extra money for vulnerable groups.

"There is a high need in our community for warm healthy homes. They have a significant impact on the health of our families.

A warm, dry home helps to give our children the best start in life, keep them out of hospital and helps avoid serious illnesses like rheumatic fever.

“Thanks to our paediatric and population health teams, iwi providers, local runanga, and the Eastland Community Trust which has invested heavily in the programme, we now have the highest rate of retrofitted homes in the country.

"The budget announcement means this important work can continue. Also helping to ensure a great start in life for our children is the announcement about intensive alcohol and drug support for pregnant women. 

“The announcement that a bowel screening programme will go ahead has been signaled for some time.

"While Tairāwhiti is not one of the first districts involved, the stand alone endoscopy suite that was opened last year and the way our clinical endoscopy team have developed the service locally means we will be in a good position to respond to the screening programme when it commences here.”