Cash advance for SDHB

Chris Fleming
Chris Fleming
The Southern District Health Board has been given an advance of $25million to ease its cash flow situation.

At the board’s monthly meeting in Invercargill this week, finance procurement and facilities executive director Julie Rickman said the money had been received last week and had ‘‘alleviated stress.’’

The board was told that while in January, the board’s finances showed a ‘‘ slightly favourable result’’— a $2.5million deficit for the month, $100,000 ahead of budget — the board’s deficit for the year so far is still about $25million.

This year the board has budgeted for a $38.5million deficit, much lower than the $89.3million blowout last year.

Chief executive Chris Fleming said some of the adverse position continued to be from unexpected outcomes, including neurosurgery costs, the handling of the measles outbreak and implications of industrial action.

Some of the increased spending was due to a higher spend on cancer drugs, the air ambulance, higher costs of locums, overtime expenditure and the cost of orthopaedic implants.

Overall, it felt that such cost increases were reasonably aligned with cost pressure and demand, but the board was falling short on savings expectations, he said.

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