HUNTER New England Health has revealed it was $16.2 million over its $2.5 billion budget this financial year, largely due to the region's COVID-19 response.
The district spent $41 million on COVID-related expenses in the 2019/20 financial year.
The health district covers Tamworth, Gunnedah and Armidale and stretches from Newcastle in the south, to the Queensland border, and west to Moree.
At the health district's annual public meeting, chief executive Michael DiRienzo said the district's "business as usual" result - excluding COVID - was "favourable to budget".
Hunter New England Health spent 47 per cent - or $1.163 million - of its budget on inpatient hospital services, $402 million on community and outpatient services, $286 million on emergency services and $200 million on mental health services.
A spokesperson said the figures reflected the investment made by the health district and the wider NSW Health system in managing the response to COVID-19.
"The District continues to receive recurrent funding through NSW Health, and this year's results and continued investment in this response will not have any practical impact on the district's future funding."
"NSW Health has provided, and continues to provide, additional funding to manage the pandemic response across the state.
"The budget includes $1.6 billion in 2020-21 to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic ($3 billion in total since the pandemic began) including:
- $500 million for activities including support for COVID-19 clinics, quarantine arrangements and increased pathology testing and contact tracing
- More than $458 million to fast track elective surgeries, focusing on surgery delayed by COVID-19
- $385 million to provide additional personal protective equipment
- More than $66 million to support mental health and wellbeing including additional mental health clinicians and peer workers
- $20 million to fast track state-wide research and clinical trials to tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic and reduce its impact on the community.