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Bulging health bureaucracy exposed in report

Bulging health bureaucracy exposed in report

"A report examining Labour's health reforms has confirmed National Party concerns of a bulging bureaucracy fuelled by the creation of 21 District Health Boards," says National party Associate Health spokesman Paul Hutchison.

He is commenting on an interim report by Victoria University's Health Services Research Centre looking at how District Health Boards are working.

"Labour is unable to resist its ideological temptation to create big centrally controlled bureaucracies.

The report says 'some expressed the view that the Ministry of Health should downsize and concentrate on National strategy'.

"The Ministry has performed poorly in the delivery of services like the Cervical Screening Programme. A strong case is now being presented for that to be handled independently," Dr Hutchison says.

"It is both worrying and predictable that Public Health Organizations (PHO's) add an extra layer of bureaucracy, further increasing management costs in the sector.

"This could have been avoided, but instead Labour has ploughed on with a fundamentally unfair primary health care system.

The report says there are concerns that a governance structure with three statutory Board committees is excessive and costly to support while Disability Support Advisory Committee roles have been unclear.

"The Labour Government has made major mistakes during its reform of the health system at a time when it needed settling down and clear accountability," Dr Hutchison says.

"The report exposes both confusion within the sector as well as shortfalls in service delivery.

"It's patently clear that Labour must re-write its prescription for our health service before the final report is tabled in mid-2005," Dr Hutchison says.

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