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Further Privatisation Signalled in Otago DHB


“Further Privatisation Signalled in Otago DHB”

“The Otago District Health Board is signalling further disruptive top-down decision-making and privatisation if the government approves its recommendation to privatise the hospital laboratories in Otago and Southland,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“In a briefing to us last Friday Chief Executive Brian Rousseau signalled that the destructive process that was forced upon the hospital laboratories should be considered for other services on a regular basis, perhaps every two years. He and the board are looking to government for the green light to proceed with privatisation initiatives.”

“The Otago DHB’s bureaucratic handling of laboratories has been based on disempowering and demoralising its own expert professional staff. Board members and chief executives tend to have a much shorter shelf life than health professionals who instead devote their careers to health and have to live with the results of shoddy decision-making.”

“If the government undertakes a policy U-turn and approves the largest known privatisation of a core health service, then it will be sanctioning the Otago and other DHBs proceeding with privatisation and treating their professional staff with disdain in the process.”

“The DHB is behaving as if the government will simply rubber stamp its privatisation recommendation despite the fact that it would require a massive policy U-turn for this to happen,” concluded Mr Powell.


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