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Future planning essential to keep up with health forecasts

Future planning essential to keep up with health forecasts

Waikato DHB’s latest annual plan highlights a strong focus on financial performance with $9 million worth of efficiencies factored into the budgeted $12 million surplus.

Health Minister Tony Ryall approved the plan saying he was pleased to see it included an excellent cost savings target.

“I expect that you will continue to identify the specific actions that will achieve this target,” he said in his letter to the board published with the annual plan.

The plan is for the financial year started 1 July 2011 and ending on 30 June next year.

Chief executive Craig Climo today (Wednesday 10 August) reported to the board the interim result for Waikato DHB in the 2010/2011 year was a $10.6 million surplus - $2.6 million higher than planned.

Among several increases in activity, Waikato DHB is now doing in excess of 3000 more elective operations a year compared to three years ago – a 27 per cent increase. See the rest of Waikato DHB's activity at

“This is through both process improvement and additional resources but is at a time where there is a huge amount of change being undertaken including physical disruption.”

Building activity continues this financial year and will be at its peak with the $138.67m Meade Clinical Centre under construction, the $7.71m Pembroke Street Carpark and $4.15m laboratory upgrade due for completion and the $63.49m Acute Services Building operational after its opening in July.

Board chair Graeme Milne said the board would use every extra dollar of surplus to accelerate its massive Waikato Hospital campus redevelopment.

“Every dollar less than what is planned will slow down the capital programme.”

Waikato DHB’s priorities are:
• financials
• regional collaboration
• quality improvement
• organisational and workforce development
• chronic conditions
• redevelopment
• rural

“These priorities are a continuation from previous years, as they are not short term issues easily resolved within a year,” said Mr Milne.

“Strides have been taken and performance has been improved, however more can be achieved. We will continue our previous year’s pattern of strong financial performance, which is important for the health of the organisation generally and to meet the significant demands that arise from our building programme.

“The major focus under this priority will be rolling out our Catalyst – for Productive Services programme. This is a structured programme using lean methodologies to reduce cost through reducing waste and minimising variation.

“The strength of our financial performance means we will be able to focus on how we can best deliver against national priorities (like health targets), regional priorities (like implementing the regional services plan and better sooner more convenient primary care) as well as our local priorities,” said Mr Milne.

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