Funds cut bad timing
Hospital GM says healthcare demand increasing rapidly
‘‘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.