News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


District Health Boards Caught Between Rock And Hard Place


“District Health Boards Caught Between Rock And Hard Place; Perversity of Financial Penalties And Incentives”

“District health boards are caught between a rock and a hard place over the funding system for elective surgery,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the decision of the Southern District Health Board to clamp down on the number of elective operations done in order to avoid cost overruns.

“The government expects district health boards to meet the targets it sets them for the number of elective operations they are required to do within a maximum waiting time.” The maximum waiting time was previously six months, is now five months, and reduces to four months next year.

“If they succeed they are financially rewarded and if they fail they risk financial penalties.”

“But if they do too many operations they can get hauled over the coals, especially if they have a financial deficit. It is a fine line between under and so-called over-performance. They are expected to perform with the accuracy of an Olympic Games shooter.”

“It is a perversity that a system of financial penalties and incentives can create a situation where district health boards are punished for improving accessible patient care for those who need it,” concluded Mr Powell.
Ian Powell

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland