Govt needs to tell us which DHBs are getting the chop

The Government needs to be honest with the public about which DHBs it plans to scrap, given the pace of these reforms, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“The Labour Government knows that culling DHBs will fare poorly, which may be why it is doing this by stealth.

“It’s amazing that no DHB has had formal discussions with the Government yet, given Health Minister Andrew Little’s plans to have legislation in place next year to cull some of them.

“During last year’s election campaign, the Government wouldn’t say which DHBs would go because they feared a backlash. They now need to be upfront with New Zealanders.

“Consolidation generally reduces the number of jobs, and those healthcare staff who are working extremely hard right now to keep us all healthy during a pandemic deserve to know whether they will still have a job at the end of 2022.

“Communities in smaller regions such as South Canterbury, Wairarapa and East Coast will be very concerned that their DHB could be consumed and their local voice lost. Midsize DHBs such as Northland, Hawke’s Bay and Bay of Plenty are also at risk.

“The Labour Government needs to answer many questions, including how many people with rare disorders or requiring Trikafta could have benefited from the $5 million they have appropriated to the unit responsible for reducing DHBs.”