Key Points:

District Health Boards are carrying a combined deficit of more than $150 million, Health Minister Tony Ryall said today.

Mr Ryall said the previous government had provided for deficits totalling $111 million.

"I was aware that DHBs' financial positions were not as accurate as they should have been," he said.

"One of my first actions as minister was to write personally to all 21 board chairs requiring an accurate and urgent statement of their likely full year financial results."

Mr Ryall said the responses revealed the budget blowout for the 2008/09 financial year.

"Worse, around $250 million of capital requests from DHBs cannot be funded this year and there is another $400 million requested next year," he said.

"Only a small percentage of this has been provided for by the previous government."

- NZPA