2 Aug 2017

Health Ministry boss apologises for $38m funding blunder

8:46 pm on 2 August 2017

Ministry of Health head Chai Chuah has apologised to the government for a $38 million funding allocation blunder.

Minster of Health Jonathan Coleman (left) and Director-General of Health Chai Chua (right) speak to the Health Committee about the budget for 2017.

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman, left, and Director-General of Health Chai Chuah last month. Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

Some district health boards will have to return funds to the Ministry of Health after $38 million from the budget was incorrectly allocated.

Mr Chuah, the Ministry's Director-General of Health, said he fully owned the error and he accepted the recommendations of an independent report.

"I have apologised to the Minister of Health and the health sector for the error and provided an undertaking that we will learn from this and fix it," he said.

The report identified six lessons and made four recommendations. Mr Chuah said his focus was implementing the recommendations.

"We have already started with some improvements.

"We have brought our finance team together and looked at tightening up our checking process as well as identifying areas where we deal with complex budgeting issues involving a number of teams and strengthening the review processes for those areas," he said.

District health boards considered a vote of no confidence in senior leadership at the Ministry of Health when the blunder was discovered.

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