24 May 2016

Māori, refugee health services to miss out

4:59 pm on 24 May 2016

A Wellington-based primary healthcare service says it's facing cuts to important services for Māori, refugees and others.

Wellington Hospital.

Newtown Union Health Service is near Wellington Hospital. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Newtown Union Health Service said it was told last month that between four and five contracts it held with Capital & Coast District Health Board, through the Well Health Primary Health Organisation (PHO), were facing cuts of up to 4 percent.

Chairwoman Eileen Brown said that would affect services offered in Māori health, diabetes, refugee services and community mental health.

"Those are the services that will experience cuts," she said.

"Now, we will continue to maintain those services, and we can for some time. We will monitor our budget closely and carefully and we will talk to our people. But that's not sustainable in the long term."

DHB spokesperson Sandra Williams said increasing demand for health services in hospitals and the community meant the Well Health PHO could not be funded to the level it had been previously.

Ms Williams said after the cuts, the Well Health trust would still be receiving about $5.5m to deliver health services in the next financial year.

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