Health Minister knew DHB funding was wrong | The Jackal

30 Jun 2017

Health Minister knew DHB funding was wrong

The National led government published DHB funding data in the 2017 budget knowing that it was completely wrong! But despite knowing the numbers were incorrect, the two-faced Minister of Health still pretended to be furious about the cock-up.

The dishonest Jonathan Coleman claimed to have only found out when public reports on the matter were made, which we now know was a complete and utter lie!

On June 16, the NZ Herald reported:

Budget blunder means DHBs will hand back millions

The spotlight is back on financial management at the Ministry of Health after most DHBs were promised millions more in funding than they will actually receive.

Deloitte have been called in to work out how the $38 million calculating error was made.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said he was "very unhappy" about the mistake - which comes in an election year in which health funding is a hot button issue.

The embarrassing bungle comes after serious financial mismanagement at the ministry last year saw it ask the Government for $18m to pay for a refit of its head office, which was meant to be entirely self-funded.

Jonathan Coleman has clearly misled journalists and the public about his knowledge of the incorrect DHB funding numbers, which he decided to go ahead and publish anyway.

Today, Newsroom reported:

Government knew of DHB blunder before Budget

The Government knew about a blunder that saw DHBs allocated incorrect funding the day before the Budget, but released statements boasting about the individual cash injections anyway.

On the day of this year’s Budget, 25 May, increased funding for cash-strapped DHBs was announced.

But the sheen was quickly taken off the news a few weeks later, when it was revealed the amounts allocated to each DHB were wrong.

Fairfax reported the blunder, which Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said he was furious about.

Coleman quickly passed the buck onto the Director-General of Health Chai Chuah and despite the Minister's feigned anger and the huge funding “mistake” nobody was fired.

You’ve really got to wonder if the National led government puled this stunt just to put certain DHBs on edge? Clearly funding allocation is very important to DHBs and any uncertainty about what was available would cause a large amount of turmoil in the sector.

The Labour Party has now learned Coleman’s office was told about the error the evening before the Budget.

Despite this, individual press releases were pushed out to media on 26 May – the day after the Budget – specifically mentioning the amounts each DHB would receive.

Coleman was apparently furious that somebody noticed and reported the blunder in the first place. He will likely be furious that it’s been made public that the government knew they were publishing incorrect information as well. Let's hope he's also furious that he needs to find a new job.