Hospital deal with ACC means funding increase

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A new agreement with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) could help generate more than $300,000 a year for Oamaru Hospital, chief executive Ruth Kibble says.

At present, Oamaru Hospital receives funding to see 4000 people through its emergency department each year, based on population.

But in 2018-19, 7755 people presented for emergency care.

“We could turn those 3755 people away from our door, [but] what we do know is if we did that the majority of them wouldn’t go to their GP. Therefore we would have un-met health need,” Mrs Kibble said.

The new contract recognised the extra work the Oamaru Hospital was doing and would enable it to invoice ACC for services it was already delivering, but had not previously been funded for, Mrs Kibble said.

“The signing of this contract aligns with one of our four strategic priorities and will help ensure we are appropriately funded for the work we do.

“For members of our community, this new contract means that they will receive the same services as offered currently and there will be no part-charging for these services.”

The contract was anticipated to generate more than $300,000 in revenue for the hospital each year, Waitaki District Health Services chairman Paul Allison said.

“The health sector inevitably faces a range of funding challenges and the successful negotiation of this agreement with ACC is both credit to management and a positive step towards becoming financially sustainable in the long term,” Mr Allison said.