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DHB decision-making in times of scarcity and its impact

DHB decision-making in times of scarcity and its impact on services

In mid 2012 Professor Don Matheson was asked by a community group to assist them in understanding why the primary health care service they were using was having its funding reduced.

Prof. Matheson says, “The funding reduction occurred in spite of the commitment the New Zealand health system has to reducing disparities, improving frontline services and access to primary health care.”

“The community’s request led me to attend a Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) meeting where the community’s concerns were heard but the Board went ahead anyway and reduced the funding for a service that provides comprehensive primary health care to refugees, large numbers of people experiencing mental illness, and a high Maori and Pacific population.”

“In an attempt to understand the rationale used by the Board in reaching a decision that would seriously impact on the frontline services for a clearly vulnerable population I requested under the Official Information Act (OIA) papers that would throw light on the Board’s decision-making processes between 2009 and 2012,” Prof. Matheson says.

Prof. Matheson has written an analysis of the content of the materials supplied by the Board under the OIA request called “From Great to Good; how a leading New Zealand DHB lost its ability to focus on equity during a period of economic constraint” which can be found at the following link

Prof. Matheson presented his findings today at a Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University seminar.


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