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High Number of Health Board Nominations

Health Minister Annette King says she is delighted with the number of nominations for extra appointments to the boards of existing Hospital and Health Services.

About 1800 applications involving about 1425 people were received, representing a good geographical spread. Some people were nominated for more than one board. There were 728 nominations from men and 697 from women. The numbers could alter slightly.

"I am delighted with the response which shows people want the community more involved in health decision making," Mrs King said.

"From the numbers of nominations received I am confident we have a wide range of top class candidates with extensive experience and excellent skill bases to choose from.

"The nominations are currently being analysed to determine how many are from Maori and Pacific people and I should have that breakdown within the next few days.

"A shortlist is being compiled and interviews will be held. The new directors are expected to have assumed their roles on the Hospital and Health Service boards in May," Mrs King said.

ENDS

A geographical breakdown and more information on the process is attached.

For further information ring John Harvey, 04 471 9305

Breakdown of Nominations Received for Each Hospital and Health Service board.

Northland Health; 85
Auckland Healthcare; 164
Waitemata Health; 151
South Auckland Health; 158
Health Waikato; 132
Pacific Health; 80
Lakeland Health; 52
Tairawhiti Healthcare; 50
Taranaki Healthcare; 49
Healthcare Hawke's Bay; 82
MidCentral Health; 58
Good Health Wanganui; 32
Capital Coast Health; 161
Hutt Valley Health; 64
Wairarapa Health; 38
Nelson-Marlborough Health; 61
Coast Healthcare; 14
Canterbury Health; 140
Healthlink South 104
Health South Canterbury; 30
Healthcare Otago; 82
Southern Health; 55


Where to from here?
The Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit and the Ministry of Health are analysing the nominations and interviews of shortlisted candidates will take place.

This shortlist will take into account the analysis the government agencies carried out of the skills and competencies of existing Hospital and Health Services boards. The purpose of this analysis was to highlight any areas in which they could benefit from the appointment of an additional director/s with specific skills.

The recommended appointees will be considered by the Cabinet Honours and Appointments Committee before successful nominations are announced.
The new directors will probably have assumed their roles in May.

The future of the Hospital and Health Services boards?
These boards will exist until the Public Health Services Bill is passed in November. Until then the boards will remain Hospital and Health Service boards, operating under the Companies Act.

While they are therefore required to continue carrying out their current functions until the legislative change, they will also need to be gearing up for the change.

What will happen when the New Zealand Public Health Services Bill becomes law?
This signals a changed health system. The subsequent repeal of the Health and Disability Safety Act will see the absorption of the Health Funding Authority and its funding operations into the Ministry of Health.
The Hospital and Health Services boards will become district health boards at about the same time.

These boards will then embark on their new role – being responsible for ensuring the community has access to appropriate
health care services.

The district health board is responsible for balancing the community's needs for primary health care, public health, disability support and hospital services.

A key accountability of the boards will be ensuring that one sector does not dominate at the expense of another area of health care. It is intended that each board will have at least two committees, one responsible for the governance of hospital services and another for advising on primary care.

The district health boards will be required to assess the health needs of their communities and start developing strategic plans to meet identified needs.
These boards will dissolve following elections for the new board, planned to be held to coincide with local body elections in October or November 2001.

From then on board meetings will be open to the public and the media, although the board will need to go into committee on some agenda items that could be, for example, commercially sensitive. Basically the meetings will operate under the same principles as local authority meetings.

The new district health boards
The new district health boards will mostly comprise people elected by the community. Elections will coincide with local body elections.
The Minister will also appoint additional people to the boards to ensure balance in skills and representation within a district.

Why are these changes being made?

They are part of the Government's plan to improve the health of New Zealanders. The abolition of the Health Funding Authority and the move to the district health boards will increase community input into decision making and once again make decision makers more directly accountable to the public, as well as the Government.

The district health board structure will support the New Zealand Health Strategy. The strategy, being developed by the Ministry of Health, will provide a comprehensive framework under which health issues will be addressed.

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