Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Greens back call for DHB reform

24 August, 2004

Greens back call for DHB reform

The Green Party is urging the Government to guarantee freedom of speech and greater autonomy to District Health Boards, ahead of this year's local body elections.

Green health spokesperson, Sue Kedgley is backing calls today for change from respected Christchurch District Health Board member, Professor Philip Bagshaw, who describes DHBs as dysfunctional and undemocratic.

"The primary role of DHBs at present is to act as scapegoats when things go wrong," said Ms Kedgley. "The Green Party would support any move by Government to guarantee them freedom of speech, make them more accountable to their communities and give them financial independence.

"The government promised local democracy through elected members on District Health Boards. But by law elected members are accountable to the Minister of Health and her officials, not the people who elect them.

"When they were set up, and elections held three years ago, most people thought they would operate as genuinely democratic institutions like local Councils. Instead elected representatives have found themselves muzzled and unable to act as strong advocates for the people who elected them."

Ms Kedgley noted that DHBs were strange hybrids that did not operate as local democratic institutions like Councils but also were forbidden the financial autonomy and independence exercised by corporate boards.

"If they are to be democratic and effective, we need to give them greater autonomy and financial independence," said Ms Kedgley. "The Government cannot afford to ignore informed proponents of change, like Professor Bagshaw and Capital Coast DHB's Helene Ritchie.

"If the Government is as genuinely interested in local democracy and participation in our health system as it claims then it should listen to voices of concern in our community, not dismiss them out of hand."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news