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DHBs: 'E' For Achievement

DHBs: 'E' For Achievement

Victoria University's interim findings on the District Health Board system does not truly tell it as it really is, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"DHB chiefs and key personnel are not about to deeply criticise the system they run and that pays them significant salary packages - especially after the recent Twaddle debacle, where a surgeon was disciplined for speaking out," Mrs Roy said.

"Reading between the lines is much more indicative of the real story. The DHB system is one which is set up to remove all embarrassment and responsibility for the Health Minister. This is a bureaucratic system operating on the principle of central control in the guise of regional responsibility.

"The Minister calls the shots from her Wellington office, while the regional organisations are left to take the flak. Precious health dollars are not reaching the patients who are in desperate need of healthcare.

"Huge salaries are paid out - but not to those actually caring for the patients. Nurses, for example, would do better in a competitive system. In the present situation, however, the Government exploits its position as a monopoly employer to keep wages low.

"Veiled criticisms of bureaucracy costs, devolution of risks, and unnecessary Health Ministry meddling do not equate to cautious approval. The DHB system really scores an `A' for the efforts of a dedicated professional workforce, but an `E' for achievement of a faulty system with all the wrong incentives," Mrs Roy said.

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