Southern DHBs to merge

The Otago and Southland District Health Boards are expected to merge.

The boards have been working closely together with some members from each sitting on both. A merger is the logical next step.

A merger of the Otago and Southland district health boards would immediately save a minimum of $500,000, with savings of at least $1 million expected longer term as duplication of board and committee meetings was cut, ODHB chairman Errol Millar said last night.

 It will also mean better service and some choice for patients, especially in Central Otago.

Cancer patients from Queenstown have to travel to Invercargill for chemotherapy treatment even though it could be provided at Clyde Hospital which is closer because Queenstown is covered by the SDHB and Clyde is under the ODHB. When the boards merge this sort of bureaucratic line drawing will stop.

The merge might persuade neighbouring boards in other areas to join forces too. Twenty one district health boards for a population of 4 million is administration overkill and a ridiculous waste of time, energy and money.

10 Responses to Southern DHBs to merge

  1. Neil says:

    I think it is a good idea that Otago-Southland DHB’s combine. It will be good for districts in the marginal border areas with Otago.
    Southlands hospital system has improved greatly and the access to Dunedin specialists is great.
    I’m sure that some of our pinprickers in local government would see that same process as logical in that area.
    The hospital board combination is a willing match not a shot gun marriage.
    The same thing will happen in local government despite what our neandthretal critics might say. If the mass of the public want it, then test the water with a poll.

  2. justwondering says:

    Just wondering what “neandthretal” means? A Google search could not find any matches.

  3. Captain Fantastic says:

    Neils logic is null & void, if not completely flawwed.Consider this………..”Southlands hospital system has improved greatly and the access to Dunedin specialists is great.” Now the plonker wants to turn it on its head.Why fix what ain’t broke matey? Unless he wants to eliminate some useless deadwood which is what is disparately required in Southland. Why is plonker Neil obsessed with “pinprickers” in Local Government? Local Government in Southland is heavily duplicated and the poor old ratepayers routinely abused, if not outnumbered by fossil ridden/bound councils. How many Executive types around tables does it take to rule a small province. I believe that Gore has the highest paid law student in the land. Enough is enough Neil, attack a real problem, get rid of the fossils and the sideshows. I really can’t understand you.

  4. Tired Farmer says:

    Neil–Good to read your change of heart re local government amalgamations etc.

    Does this mean that NZer’s may well walk upright at last?

  5. justwondering says:

    It is obvious that Cr Neil has given very little thought to what the implications of this merger of hospital boards will do for the small rural based hospital in his patch.

    The present Mayor and most Councillors of the Gore Council are content to put funding issues of the local hospital at the bottom of their list.

  6. homepaddock says:

    Justwondering: what are the implications for small rural hospitals?

    Less money wasted on duplicating overheads ought to leave more for hospitals and services – rural and urban.

  7. MacDoctor says:

    About time really. There have been discussions on this since the time of CHEs. Those discussions were stymied by the competitive nature of the CHE system at the time. Even after the conversion to supposedly non-competitive DHBs, Southlanders have taken nearly a decade to get over their suspicious natures.

    The argument has always been that Otago will just slowly absorb all the services from Southland, leaving the hospital a glorified band-aid station. In reality, of course, the deterioration of services in Southland was driven by the inevitability of super-specialisation and had nothing to do with Otago’s supposedly predatory nature.

    This will lead to some much-needed rationalisation of services. I’m sure the Queenstown GPs, in particular, will be delighted. They will not have multiple confusing lines of referral to contend with.

  8. Justwondering says:

    Only time will tell if the service is better and there are some choices for patients that have not been available before.

    It may well be that funding could be cut, as the government recently did with its contribution to roading.

  9. Neil says:

    Great to see my Rural Ratepayer individuals tossing dirt at me.
    I apologise Homepaddock for this happening. Their knowledge of local Gore conditions reveals their character.
    Perhaps they should reveal their support in Gore which could be fitted inside a jammed Telecom phone booth.
    To bloggers, play the game not the character.

  10. Tired Farmer says:

    Neil-Rural Ratepayers are thinking of asking Telecom to increase the dimensions of their phone booths
    No doubt you will support our efforts.

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