Hos­pi­tal fund­ing equa­tion lop­sided

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

The buck has to stop some­where. I’m just a lay­man but how I read the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is that Gov­ern­ment fund­ing for health boards is pop­u­la­tion based and the cur­rent to­tal pop­u­la­tion of the South­ern Dis­trict Health Board area is ei­ther static or de­clin­ing.

Here in Cen­tral Otago of course we’re buck­ing that trend with sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tion growth.

So it’s a dilemma for the SDHB. Their fund­ing is not in­creas­ing, be­cause the over­all pop­u­la­tion isn’t, and they’re run­ning a deficit and need to make cuts to get nearer to their bud­get.

But in Cen­tral our pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing and a num­ber of us are older and gen­er­ally, the older you are the more health ser­vices you use.

The point was also made that un­like in Dunedin and Queen­stown we don’t have ac­cess to a free Emer­gency Depart­ment ser­vice, and in­stead have to pay to see our GP when we’re crook.

On top of that a lot of peo­ple in this town have pri­vate health in­sur­ance. So as one as­tute mem­ber of the au­di­ence put it at the meet­ing ‘‘we’re ba­si­cally pay­ing three times for our health ser­vice’’ – taxes, GP vis­its and health in­sur­ance.

Mind you we do get to live in Wanaka and that’s priceless!

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