Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I heard a good piece on National Radio on DHBs.

The key part of this item for me was the recognition by the DHBs themsleves that they needed to act more co-operatively. Somewhat ironically, the Minister of Health said that DHBs would be encouraged but that the model would not be changed.

I am glad that there is enough foresight and "can-do" attitude in the DHBs that allows them to improve the provision of health services off their own back. Now some will say that is eactly what the model intended but I am rather sceptical of that. The DHBs - as evidenced by HBDHB - were pretty much left to sink or swim on their own.

What of the future? The sharing of services and administration across DHBs ought to continue and be actively encouraged by MOH. An admission that the model was insufficient would be good but unlikely. Could there be a move back to an overarching single administration? I rather doubt that it would become reality within the next three years if for no other reason than the work required to set it up properly. But I hope that if it does come about, it will ot be because of someone in Wellington saying we need to change the model for the sake of change but rather because they see the benefits of where the DHBs themselves have led the system.

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