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Health boards bill passes first reading

Dr Jackie Blue
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

7 September 2006

Health boards bill passes first reading

National's Associate Health spokeswoman Dr Jackie Blue is delighted that her Official Information (Openness of District Health Boards New Zealand) Amendment Bill passed its first reading with unanimous support from all parties in Parliament last night.

"This was absolutely the right decision,” says Dr Blue.

"This bill proposes to bring the taxpayer-funded District Health Boards New Zealand (DHBNZ), which acts on behalf of all DHBs, under the Official Information Act.

"There has been concern from stakeholders that DHBNZ has been increasingly taking on projects and policy work that should more appropriately be carried out by the Ministry of Health.

"Not a lot is known about this organisation because it has been difficult to gather information. As a result it has been labelled a private club.

"It is absolutely appropriate that this bill will now be heard by Parliament’s Health Select Committee.

"This is the right forum to hear from DHBNZ, stakeholders and the public as to why this organisation should or should not remain outside the Official Information Act and, indeed, whether it should be disbanded.

"Last month it was reported that Auckland District Health Board withdrew from DHBNZ, so clearly all is not well.

"It is very timely that Parliament and the public will have an opportunity to review DHBNZ,” says Dr Blue.


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