Health Ministry Boss makes huge Budget blunder

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A major blunder over Budget funding for the Health Ministry has left its boss red faced.

Hospital ward

Source: Breakfast

Director General of Health Chai Chuah has apologised after some District Health Boards were incorrectly allocated funds in this year’s Budget.

Fourteen DHBs were told they were in theory overpaid, while six were underpaid.

It means they were told they were getting more than they were officially supposed to.

An independent investigation is to be carried out by Deloitte into the embarrassing error.

The mistake is being put down to draft figures being formally submitted to the Budget process rather than the final figures.

Dr Chuah says the difference amounts to $38 million – out of the $439 million in new funding.

The total amount of funding remains the same, but individual DHBs were receive different allocations.

1 NEWS understands some DHBs had already started planning for using that funding and will now have to change their plans.

Dr Chuah has apologised to Minister Jonathan Coleman, DHB chairs and chief executives.

But he hasn’t offered his resignation.

Labour's health spokesman David Clark says Dr Coleman now has "egg on his face".

"While this is embarrassing for the Minister, the bigger impact is that some DHBs will have to make sharper cuts than expected. This affects patients directly," Dr Clark said.

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