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NZMA expresses concern at DHBNZ

MEDIA RELEASE
NEW ZEALAND MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

FROM: Dr Ross Boswell, Chairman NZMA

DATE: Monday, 28 August 2006

SUBJECT: NZMA expresses concern at DHBNZ

The New Zealand Medical Association today expressed support for the principles behind Dr Jackie Blue’s member’s bill, the Official Information (Openness of District Health Boards NZ) Amendment Bill.

“We have been concerned for some years about the role of DHBNZ, which is an incorporated society with the DHBs as members. DHBNZ is increasingly taking on coordination and operational policy functions, which should more appropriately be carried out by the Ministry of Health,” said NZMA Chairman Dr Ross Boswell.

“However, DHBNZ is only accountable to the DHBs and not to the Crown or to the people of New Zealand. One aspect of this has been the inability to obtain information about its activities under the Official Information Act, but there are wider issues, including its approach to consultation within the health sector.”

Coordination of the implementation of health policy is a critical function in New Zealand health, and it should be absorbed into the Ministry of Health. DHBNZ should be disbanded.

“We don’t need precious health dollars wasted on a private club for government agencies,” said Dr Boswell.

ENDS

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