DHB's April deficit exceeds estimate

District Health Board funding increases announced in last week's Budget cannot come fast enough for the Southern DHB, which racked up a $3.7 million deficit for April - $2.1 million more than budgeted.

A financial report due to be presented at the SDHB commissioner's meeting tomorrow said revenue for April was actually around $500,000 better than budgeted.

However, workforce expenses were much higher, partly due to when statutory holidays fell..

Overtime, leave costs and higher than budgeted uptake of KiwiSaver also had an impact on personnel expenses.

Non personnel costs ran $1.64 million ahead of budget.

''This was primarily driven by outsourced clinical services, and clinical supplies.''

Orthopaedic and urology procedures and lab tests were the main contribution to outsourced clinical services running $870,000 over budget.

Clinical supplies were $1.13 million over budget, with pharmaceutical costs $510,000 unfavourable for the month and $3 million for the year.

''The actual spend is driven by patient needs and volumes,'' the report said.

''The 2017-18 budget is in line with previous year actual costs.

''The drugs with the largest cost increases, year-on-year, are used in the treatment of bowel disease, haematology, cancer and HIV.''

Blood was also a costly item, with added costs reflecting haemophiliac and immune disorder case numbers, the report said.

''Year-to-date clinical supplies are $7.64 million unfavourable, driven by combined acute and elective volumes.

''This is an area of focus for the DHB.''

Last week's Budget contained a $2.2 billion increase for DHB operational expenditure nationwide, as well as $100 million, if needed, for deficit support.

Ministry of Health figures show the SDHB is forecast to record a deficit of $17.5 million for 2017-18 - it recorded a $21.87 million deficit in 2016-17, and a $33.543 million deficit in 2015-16.



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