Waikato District Health Board will look at job cuts to deal with a shortfall for the coming financial year of about $20 million.
Chief executive Craig Climo has told employees the board will have to find savings of $20 million for the year beginning in July this year and a further $5 million in each of the two following years.
But he says that is a small amount, compared with an annual budget of $1.1 billion.
Mr Climo says if savings can not be found in other areas, staff reductions are among the cost-cutting options.
The Nurses Organisation says the district health board already has high rates of serious injuries and deaths and cutting staff would only make these occurrences more common.
Call to cut management jobs
DHB board member Ewan Wilson told Nine to Noon that the money should be found by cutting costs in management, not frontline services.
Mr Wilson said the shortfall is because the cost of upgrading the hospital campus is cutting into the budget for providing health services.
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell said he suspects other health boards are in a similar situation to Waikato.