A southern health row over millions of dollars has yet to be
resolved, despite scrutiny from the Auditor-general's office.
In December, the Auditor-general's office said it expected
the long-running dispute between Southern District Health
Board and Dunedin-based independent practitioner association
South Link Health to be resolved ''without further delay''.
It was a rare public statement about a row that has run under
the radar for years.
In response, board chairman Joe Butterfield said he hoped the
matter would be ''clarified'' in the new year. Contacted on
Friday, he refused to comment.
South Link Health chairman Dr Dean Millar-Coote was also
saying little, but confirmed there had been no resolution. He
said the parties were still in talks.
A spokeswoman for the Auditor-general's office said it was
''keeping an eye on progress'' through audit processes, and
referred further comment to the health board.
In December, the Auditor-general's office said it was advised
about the dispute in October.
''We were told that there is a renewed focus on resolving the
matter and that this will be done with some urgency,'' the
office said at the time.
Dating from the 1990s, the figure has ballooned from $5.3
million to possibly about $15 million including interest.
It arose from disagreement about whether savings from
contracts had to be returned.