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Board Sacking Last Resort

28 February 2008

Board Sacking Last Resort

It is to be hoped that the sacking of the Hawkes Bay DHBs board and replacement by a Commissioner is a last resort and not an intimation of things to come, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“Capital & Coast DHB got into trouble for its perceived financial ineptitude, its failure to run a large and complex organisation whilst building a new hospital and the running down of specialist services because of staff and funding shortages.

“Now the Hawkes Bay board has been fired and replaced by a Commissioner.

“In both cases these are drastic measures which, at least in the short term, will result in more upheaval for the medical staff and consequently for their patients.

“Our health system is unnecessarily complicated for the size of our population. We have 21 district health boards – each expected to provide its population with every required service and many running short of money as a result.

“We also have an unbelievably long-winded equipment purchasing process which delays by years the provision of the most modern equipment available.

“Obviously the health system needs some reorganisation but boards should not be routinely publicly castigated because they disagree with the Minister or have funding problems.

“That would further reduce confidence in the health system and demoralise medical staff who have enough to contend with already,” said Mrs Stewart.

DHB populations are approximately:

DHB Population (000s)
Northland 150
Waitemata 505
Auckland 435
Counties Manukau 447
Waikato 344
Bay of Plenty 200
Lakes 102
Tairawhiti 45
Taranaki 105
Hawke's Bay 151
MidCentral 164
Whanganui 63
Hutt 139
Capital & Coast 279
Wairarapa 39
Nelson Marlborough 137
West Coast 31
Canterbury 479
South Canterbury 54
Otago 182
Southland 110

Data based on the 2001 Census (2006 population projections), Statistics NZ

ENDS

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