25 Mar 2010

DHB to cut services to reduce debt

8:51 pm on 25 March 2010

The Capital and Coast District Health Board is proposing cuts to community services in the face of huge debt.

The DHB is forecasting that it will be $59.3 million in deficit at the end of the next financial year.

A national organisation which represents community providers of mental health and addiction services, Platform Trust, says it understands the DHB is planning to cut $2 million from the sector in the Wellington area.

Platform's chief executive Marion Blake, says the services which will be affected are unique and can't be provided by doctors and nurses at the DHB.

Another group, Aspire, offers two drop-in centres in Wellington for people with mental health problems, and says funding cuts could mean the closure of a branch.

It says that would mean those people have no support and could end up on the streets making a nuisance of themselves.

The Capital and Coast District Health Board says at this stage no decision has been made on where it will make savings as part of its financial recovery plan.