The Southern District Health Board now has an agreed 2012-13
budget which contains ''waste reduction and savings
initiatives'', a report to the board says.
Until the board meeting in Dunedin on Thursday, end-of-year
projections had been blank in budget papers since the start
of the financial year.
Now, a deficit of $11 million is cited.
It has taken longer than usual this year for the
deficit-ridden board's annual plan - which includes the
end-of-year projections - to be signed off by Health Minister
In his report, finance and funding executive director Robert
Mackway-Jones said although the annual budget had been agreed
with the National Health Board, it awaited Mr Ryall's formal
At the meeting, chairman Joe Butterfield received an
assurance from Mr Mackway-Jones that the board would not
overspend again this year, as it had last year.
Chief executive Carole Heatly added: ''It's going to be
really tough, but we always knew that.''
Mr Ryall's office said it was yet to receive the annual plan,
but confirmed Crown monitor Stuart McLauchlan's tenure
continued into the new year.
When contacted, Mr McLauchlan, who was not at Thursday's
meeting, said the board's savings initiatives would not
deliver instant results. His role was to be the ''ears for
the minister'' at the board table, he said.
At the board's community and public health committee in
Dunedin on Wednesday, members received a staff presentation
about plans to limit hospital referrals. Known as Southern
Pathways, it would be launched next year, with strong input
from GPs, including a GP as clinical leader.
Under the new system, GPs would would be able to order
diagnostic procedures to limit specialist referrals.