Funds cut bad tim­ing

Hos­pi­tal GM says health­care de­mand in­creas­ing rapidly

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘Un­prece­dented de­mand’’ on Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal ser­vices can­not be sus­tained un­der threat of planned fund­ing cuts, hos­pi­tal bosses say.

Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal gen­eral manager Karyn Penno said the hos­pi­tal was fac­ing a 5 per cent fund­ing cut from the South­ern Dis­trict Health Board for the next fi­nan­cial year, de­spite strong pop­u­la­tion growth driv­ing in­creases in hos­pi­tal ser­vices and its as­so­ci­ated com­mu­nity ser­vices. Be­tween the 2006 and 2013 cen­suses, the pop­u­la­tion of the com­mu­ni­ties served by Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal grew by 19 per cent, with the Up­per Clutha dis­trict grow­ing by some 29 per cent, she said.

‘‘Much of this un­prece­dented growth has been in the 65-years and older age groups, who are the high­est users of health­care ser­vices.’’

Dun­stan Hos­pi­tal can­not sus­tain its cur­rent level of ser­vice with im­mi­nent fund­ing cuts.

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