21 October, 2009
Benefits on horizon for Maori in health revamp
Tariana Turia says Maori will benefit from a major overhaul of the country's health system announced today by the Minister of Health Tony Ryall.
"There are a number of significant challenges facing the health sector and one of them is a scarce workforce which has meant patients, including Maori patients, have had to wait too long for life-saving surgery," Mrs Turia said.
"Unfortunately many of our Maori people have died before getting that surgery, so yes change is a must.
"Any change aimed at providing better, sooner and more convenient services to patients has to be good for Maori, or at least a step up from the service they have been given in the past."
Minister Turia said the changes would move an estimated $700 million in savings over five years to frontline services. The changes would also reduce the health bureaucracy by 180 administration jobs in the Ministry of Health and 300 administration jobs in the 21 DHBs throughout the country. $700 million could buy 16,000 heart bypass operations and build two large hospitals)
The main changes to the health sector are:
- A new National Health Board within the Ministry of Health for tighter focus and supervision of the $9.7 billion spend on hospital and primary care services
- NHB to plan and fund specialist national services like paediatric oncology, clinical genetics and major burns
- NHB to consolidate infrastructure planning and funding of IT, workforce and capital management from current fragmented delivery by 21 DHBs and other agencies
- A Shared Services Establishment Board to begin consolidation of administrative functions such as payroll and purchasing currently spread across 21 DHBs and regional shared agencies
- Requirement and support for regional cooperation in service planning and delivery