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Otago DHB response to PSA Press Release

Otago DHB response to PSA Press Release

August 31, 2004

As part of the Otago District Health Boards overall efficiency improvement initiative, the DHB has reviewed its vehicle fleet usage to ensure that vehicles were not being leased beyond requirements. On investigation, it was found that some leased vehicles were doing less than 200km per month. The number of vehicles has been reduced from 142 to 112, saving the DHB in excess of $170,000 a year. Contrary to Mr Ryan’s statement, taxi usage has increased only negligibly, and patient care hasn’t been compromised.

“I am sure Mr Ryan would agree with me that spending scarce health dollars on poorly utilised fleet vehicles when we have patients on a waiting list for surgery isn’t wise use of tax payers money. $170,000 can provide a lot of cataract replacements” said Brian Rousseau, CEO of the DHB.

Brian Rousseau added, “This initiative is an excellent example of the great team effort of many staff committed to improving efficiency of our services to ensure that the health dollar can be stretched as far as possible to provide much needed services. I concede that staff will need to plan vehicle use more thoroughly than in the past. We will continue to closely monitor usage of all pool and service vehicles and will adjust the fleet numbers on an informed basis”.

“I have asked Mr Ryan to supply specifics of staff who had been significantly affected by the reduction in the number of vehicles, and he was unable to do so” said Grant O'Kane, Human Resources Advisor for the DHB. The DHB refutes the claim by the PSA that it has breached the consultation requirements of the union collective agreements. “If working smarter requires consultation with the union, then we probably have breached our employment contracts. We will be responding to the PSA’s application to the Employment Relations Authority” said Brian Rousseau.

ENDS


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