Hospital funding equation lopsided
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!