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Regional clinical networks make services stronger

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

2 July 2008 Media Statement

Regional clinical networks make services stronger

Minister of Health David Cunliffe has welcomed discussions about strengthening clinical networks in the lower North Island to enhance the delivery of services.

However, he said claims of secret plans or a downgrade of services were simply wrong.

Six DHBs are considering a draft document about increasing collaboration, and enhancing clinical networks.

Mr Cunliffe said collaborative clinical networks would enhance health services, make them more accessible to people across the lower North Island and increase their ability to provide long-term sustainable services.

“There are six DHBs working together proactively together and I applaud their decision to work together on developing a comprehensive plan or services for the lower North Island.”

Mr Cunliffe said once DHBs had completed their discussions a proposal would have to come to him for consideration and possible referral to Cabinet.

“I look forward to seeing proposals about strengthening and building on current services.This is not about reducing or downgrading services.”

”I am on record as advocating an increased collaboration between DHBs since becoming Minister, as it has obvious benefits, anyone who views collaboration as something that could lead to down graded services, is completely out of touch with the Governments, the health sectors, and communities expectations.”

“My understanding is the DHBs involved are working together on how best to deliver specialist services and how to improve access to these services for the people of the lower North Island.”

Mr Cunliffe said there were 21 DHBs in this country all providing services designed to meet the needs of the their individual communities and there are no plans to change this.

“Under no circumstances will there be a reduction in service delivery.”

Mr Cunliffe stressed any plans would be put out for public consultation.


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