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“Increasing concern over new health bureaucracies”

6 October 2004

“Increasing concern over new health bureaucracies”

“There is increasing concern over the new government-supported Primary Health Organisations simply becoming another layer of bureaucracy in an already heavily bureaucratised health system,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the decision of the Hutt Valley District Health Board to grant an additional $250,000 to support its PHOs.

“There is a serious risk of the much promoted Primary Health Organisations becoming parallel bureaucracies alongside the existing 21 district health boards. It would make more sense to use the existing resources of district health boards to provide organisational, computer and other necessary support for PHOs.”

“This growth of new layers of bureaucracy seems to be based on unnecessary distrust and lack of confidence in the relationship between primary care and district health boards. But the creation of new bureaucratic structures instead risks increasing this distrust and lack of confidence.”

“Primary Health Organisations have great potential to further improve the quality and accessibility of primary care and to increase its coordination with hospital-based services. However, this potential will be undermined by excessive bureaucracy,” concluded Mr Powell.


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