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DHBs Irresponsible Over Laboratory Privatisation

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER


MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2006

“DHBs Irresponsible Over Public Laboratory Privatisation”

“The Otago and Southland district health boards are behaving irresponsibly in deciding to recommend to government that its public hospital laboratories should be privatising,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“These health bureaucrats are making a short-sighted attempt to cost shift in response to external funding pressures without regard to negative consequences. These include recruitment and retention of expert staff. Their obsession with privatisation has lead to a high level of demoralisation among laboratory staff who have been deliberately excluded from effective consultation over the wisdom of this move.”

“This is their second attempt at privatisation after the first was knocked back by the Commerce Commission. Now they are trying on a different process that has been premeditated to get the outcome that they have always wanted.”

“This is one of the worst cases of health bureaucrats thinking in the short-term only whereas health professionals know from their practical experience that the best decisions are based on longer term planning. Many health bureaucrats in other parts of the country also appreciate the importance of longer term planning but they are in very short supply in Otago and Southland.”

“They are treating their highly committed staff with disdain and contempt. It is another slap in the face for the laboratory staff whose faces have been slapped so many times by these bureaucrats that they have run out of any space on their cheeks to turn the other way.”

“We will be working very hard to convince the Health Minister not to accept this privatisation proposal. Two irresponsible decisions do not make a responsible decision,” concluded Mr Powell.


Ian Powell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


ENDS

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