Lakeland and Bay of Plenty Hospitals

  • Bill English

Health Minister Bill English and Associate Health Minister John Delamere announced today Government support for doctors and nurses from the Lakeland, Western Bay and Eastbay Crown health enterprises forming alliances to organise hospital services regionally.

"In recent months there has been considerable discussion and work on the possibility of mergers as a way of improving hospital services for the people living in the three CHE's districts," the Ministers said.

"The Government considered the advice of the various interested parties and has decided, at this stage, no formal mergers should proceed.

"Instead we are supporting the forming of clinical alliances to better organise the region's services. People in the region are concerned that they will not have the health services they need when they want them. We need to build certainty about their health services," they said.

"The best way to achieve this is for the hospitals' doctors, nurses and other health professionals to work out ways to improve cooperation and coordination of the services so they can be organised regionally.

"The Government is optimistic that the doctors, nurses and other health professionals will value the opportunity to build alliances and to influence the future of their hospitals. However, it acknowledges they are busy and will require resources, direction, deadlines and structure to ensure the improvements take place.

"To support the development of alliances, the Government plans to appoint some of the current directors of the three CHEs to other CHE boards in the region. We will be discussing in detail with the boards a path to achieving better services and financial stability through clinical alliances," they said.

"Lakeland is already increasingly working with Health Waikato. The Government supports this cooperation as another constructive way of securing quality services for both people served by these CHEs.

"The Government will closely monitor developments in the region and if there is inadequate progress towards secure hospital services by the middle of next year we will re-examine the prospect of Board mergers," the Ministers said.