The Southern District Health Board is again at risk of
exceeding its approved deficit, and could end the year about
$13.7 million in the red unless changes are made, board
members heard yesterday.
The board, which is under close financial scrutiny by Health
Minister Tony Ryall, the Treasury, and the National Health
Board, has an approved deficit of $11 million for 2013-14.
Finance and funding director Robert Mackway-Jones' report
said if trends continued, the board would run over by another
''Many expenditure items are demand driven [by patient need]
and largely beyond control.
''That said, other mitigations need to be taken to avoid this
January was a high-demand month, including an unusual cluster
of complex leukemia cases that helped drive up costs of blood
products, the hospital advisory committee heard on Wednesday.
Annual leave liability reduced over the Christmas period, but
was still $24.1 million.
The board has also been scrutinising spending on
telecommunications, and its service provider had agreed to a
$15,000 monthly reduction, by shutting off an unused data
cable, the hospital committee heard.