The Herald reports:
The Government is refusing to say how many jobs could be lost in a proposed overhaul of the provision of hospital meals that would save up to $175 million over 15 years.
The plan has been drawn up by Health Benefits Limited (HBL), a Government-owned organisation set up to find savings by reducing duplication and administration costs.
Health Minister Tony Ryall confirmed there would be staffing cuts and didn’t rule out closing or downsizing some of New Zealand’s 39 hospital kitchens operated by 20 district health boards.
But Mr Ryall said the quality of meals provided to patients would be paramount and not compromised by the changes.
If the DHBs can save money with more efficient meal costs, and no change in quality, then of course it should and must do it.
The purpose of the health system is to help sick people get well. Not to create jobs for kitchen workers.
The more money one can save on support services, the more money available for surgeries, drugs, cancer treatment etc.
Compass already provides a third of health board meals, Spotless Services another third, and local providers the rest.
So two thirds already contract the service out. Not surprised the DHBs have realised that one national contract could cost a lot less than 39 separate contracts.