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Health Council leaves the region a better place

7 July 2004

Counties-Manukau Health Council leaves the region a better place.

When the Manukau City Council decided to discontinue funding the Counties-Manukau Health Council at the recent adoption of the 2004-05 annual plan it did so confident the region would not disadvantaged.

In its role the Counties-Manukau District Health Board is committed to maintaining and developing the important links the Counties-Manukau Health Council has forged with its communities.

"When the Counties Manukau Health Council was established the public health delivery system of the time was not equipped to managing relationships with the communities it was serving", said DHB Chairman Ross Keenan. "The Health Council identified this gap and not only filled it but became the model for such informing relationships".

"With the establishment of the District Health Board regime with the specific role of meeting the immediate community's needs the Health Council's role has become a core function within the DHB's management function".

"The model the Health Council has bequeathed us is the benchmark we as a board have taken up," said Mr Keenan. "They provided that all important link between community and provider creating an understanding of the issues and conditions all in the health sector face today."

"The District Health Board recognizes the valuable precedent the Health Council has provided and it is up to us as elected representatives of the communities we serve not to dilute the value attained."

"To this end we are in the process of developing a Strategic Relationship Agreement between ourselves and the City Council. We see this as a valuable tool to ensure we develop and enrich the community connections forged by the Health Council," said Mr Keenan.

"In reviewing the funding the City Council has provided to the Health Council we are pleased to see Central government acknowledge the benefits of such consultative relationships" said Mayor Sir Barry Curtis. "The decision to discontinue funding was taken only after we were confident that the DHB would apply the learning's of the Health Council".

"It is essential for the well-being of Counties-Manukau residents that the DHB retains the partnership forged by the Health Council and there is no greater evidence of the Health Board's commitment than the proposed relationship agreement".

"The Health Council certainly leaves the health arena a better place to work and develop outcomes specific to our needs and we must thank them for that and the commitment and passion they displayed in their role" said Sir Barry.

ENDS

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