DHB’S slim surplus hopes
The Waikato DHB has ruled out achieving a surplus this financial year, saying it might struggle to break even.
The revised outlook was presented by Waikato DHB’S chief financial officer Andrew Mccurdie at the board’s February meeting.
Staff had previously forecast a $4.5 million surplus for the year but Mccurdie said the board was now aiming to break even.
However, achieving a break even result would be ‘‘extremely challenging’’, he warned.
‘‘We have communicated that back to the Ministry...and I haven’t had the phone call to say what the hell is going on,’’ he said.
Mccurdie’s report said a number of unexpected and uncontrollable costs had been incurred during the 2016/17 financial year.
Over the past few years, the health board’s costs had grown at a faster rate than revenue and therefore eroded the board’s ability to respond to unexpected costs.
Board member Mary Anne Gill was concerned by nursing costs - which was $4.5 million unfavourable to budget - and the higher than planned use of locums.
Waikato DHB chief executive Nigel Murray said health boards were under a lot of pressure.
There had a been a lot of extraordinary items the Waikato DHB had to deal with since its budget was written up.
Waikato DHB chief executive Nigel Murray says district health boards across the country are under pressure.