Health services company running largely to budget - report

Waitaki District Health Services is "in good heart and on track" for a successful year, chairman George Berry says.

The company, which owns and operates Oamaru Hospital and provides health services in the Waitaki district, yesterday presented its half-year report to its owner, the Waitaki District Council.

The company traded largely to budget for the first six months of this financial year to the end of December, helped by a 1.73% increase in funding from the Southern District Health Board, higher-than-budgeted revenue from providing Accident Compensation Corporation and other services, and significant savings.

The report, which included the accounts for the Waitaki District Health Services Trust that holds donations and investments, showed a profit of $210,561.

The company, as distinct from the trust, made a loss of $311,326, but that was attributable to funding provided by the company to the trust and would be reversed by the end of the financial year.

Mr Berry said the company had cash funds available which it had passed to the trust to get most favourable interest rates for short-term investment.

That will be recovered over time by the company through grants and donations from the trust.

The company is at present negotiating with the district health board to renew its main contract from the end of June for three years, a longer term than the previous annual contracts.

That was expected to be completed before June 30, giving greater assurance of continued funding for hospital and community health services.

Mr Berry said there was "a much better working relationship" with the board and was satisfied with the contract negotiations, which were further ahead than in previous years.

Some highlights of the first six months were. -

• Establishment of Takaro Lodge hospital-level aged-care facility of four beds, all fully occupied since it opened.

• Completing a birthing pool in the maternity service.

• Concluding wage negotiations with the medical officer and radiography staff union.

• Introduction of a personal health check "warrant of fitness".




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