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Reports hospitals asked to make more than $80m in savings by July

Apr 26, 2024

By Phil Pennginton of RNZ

The central health agency is asking hospitals to save more than $80m by July as part of a nationwide cost-cutting drive, according to figures sourced by RNZ.

RNZ has asked Te Whatu Ora to confirm the figures, which range from a savings goal of $15.5m at Auckland to between $7m and $9m for four other districts, and a clutch of smaller districts at $3m or less.

It has told hospitals they must "live within our means" and clamp down on staffing costs because other cost-cutting measures have not gone far enough, as RNZ revealed a week ago.

Health Minister Shane Reti has said this would not take away from the front line for medical care.

On Wednesday, a leaked document published by Newsroom showed Canterbury hospitals had been ordered to slash $13.5m in the next two months.

The latest figures cited to RNZ are for savings ordered at another 11 health districts:

  • Auckland $15.5m
  • Waikato $13m
  • Southern $9m
  • Counties Manukau just under $8m
  • Waitematā just under $8m
  • Capital Coast and Hutt Valley $7m
  • Hawkes Bay $3m
  • Nelson $3m South
  • Canterbury $1.2m
  • West Coast $980,000

RNZ has asked Te Whatu Ora what savings it has ordered at the other eight medium-to-small districts.

Health NZ was funded almost $23 billion for 2023-24.

RNZ has contacted Dr Reti for comment.

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