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Owner: And I do plan to build it.
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Owner: No, you wouldn't hear from me again if you didn't.
Minister defends hospitals christmas closure over funding shortfall
It's been nearly two years since the closure of the Canterbury Hospital's Christchurch-based trauma department and some will be surprised by the hospital's current financial situation.
The Health Services Union's regional president said the hospital had been losing money for the past five years but the latest annual report showed it still had about $4.5 million in its coffers.
It means, he said, that even though the hospital will shut down, the union would not give up their efforts to try and save as many as 15 jobs.
The hospital has been in financial difficulty since last May.
"We are just hoping that the Government will be honest with us and accept that there is money out there," he said.
* Canterbury Hospital funding shortfall is serious for NHS
* Canterbury Hospital's Christmas Day closure costs $700M
* Canterbury Hospital to be closed in 2018
It is not immediately clear when Canterbury Hospital plans to close, but some expect they will be soon.
John Muellbauer of the Canterbury Hospital Trust is the department chair, but he is now chief executive of G4S and also serves as secretary of the Canterbury Hospital Association.
As well as a $3.5 million salary and office rental, he will enjoy a monthly income of $858,000. He will keep a home in Auckland, but move home every six weeks.
However he will also be able to borrow more money from G4S.
"The hospital's fiscal position is as stable as it can be when you have the government that supports them. The government knows that we are doing right by patients and families and the hospital can't afford to lose any customers," he said.
He did confirm there is about $4.5 million in the coffers, but said it was only a small part of the overall operating budget, with other parts including security, equipment, medical supplies and hospital administration.
If that wasn't enough, he said the hospital's doctors, nurses and other personnel would continue to receive the same salaries and other benefits as they did prior to 2014.
The union says it will not have any funding to do all of the work, as it is funded by the G4S/RNZ contract, which is due to expire in November.
The Government had previously told the hospital union that it would not cut its services or lay off staff but it was not forthcoming and it would be "completely unreasonable" for it to get out at this stage.
"It's not a problem for us... it would be totally unreasonable to expect them to close the hospital and lay off staff
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