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Corporate Health Management

MEDIA RELEASE

Date: 26/04/2006 4:49 p.m.

Corporate Health Management

That growing numbers of "elective" patients are being excluded from surgery waiting lists is proof of the inappropriateness of current corporate style health management.

"Logic" dictates that if DHBs cannot provide surgery within six months then patients
are removed from the lists. This is being applied under the 1990s hospitals-as-a-business agenda, despite claims by Labour that this is no longer the criteria for delivering these services. Further, the term "elective" is being grossly abused as part of the waiting list farce.

For example, if someone is losing their sight through cataracts, how can treatment be termed "elective" i.e. not important enough to be carried out?

While hospitals and their token boards, controlled by Ministry and local administration career ladder climbers, proceed with this farce, tens of thousands of New Zealanders suffer in fearful silence.

Of course DHB members could speak out - that was the supposed purpose of having elected boards - but most won't because to do so may imperil their positions and the money that goes with them. I still recall, after addressing an election meeting in Greymouth, two young women came hot-footing up the hall complaining bitterly about my criticism of bureaucrats. No prize for guessing they were on the local corporate health gravy-train.

Those who are involved in administering the run down of our hospitals obviously have no conception of history's judgment on those who take wrongful action under the excuse of, "I was ordered to do it".

It is time the corporate mindset was eliminated from New Zealand health management in favour of a system driven by the health professionals at the scalpel end of service delivery.

ENDS

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