28 Jun 2014

HBL costs won't be major, says minister

1:30 pm on 28 June 2014

Health Minister Tony Ryall says he doesn't believe cost blow-outs revealed in a memo about Health Benefits Limited will be major, and DHBs will decide if HBL gets more money or not.

The memo, written by a senior DHB manager and leaked to Radio New Zealand - said there were cost overruns and delays to one of HBL's programmes.

The memo compared HBL, which is meant to save money by centralising DHB procurement services, to a ponzi scheme.

Tony Ryall told TV3's The Nation programme that any increase in HBL funding must be approved by DHBs and he believes it would be money well-spent.

He said HBL's budget was about $90 million, to generate savings of up to $500 million, and if it costs $100 million for HBL to do the work, then it was worth DHBs considering the extra investment.