NZIER on the number of DHBS

A good report by NZIER on the number of DHBs we have in NZ.

They compare us to British Columbia which has the same population as NZ, but six DHBs instead of 20. Even NSW has only 15 for a population of 7.6 million.

A key point is we simply don’t know how much of Vote Health is being spent on administration of DHBs. They say:

Getting a clear sense of how much is spent on DHB administration is difficult. Administrative costs are not published in DHB annual reports.

The Auditor General in her Reflections from our audits: Governance and accountability report of 2016 provides a set of observations as to the importance of public reporting. She notes that accountability enables trust in government and needs constant attention. This means residents can see how their taxes and rates have been used.

The information reported by DHBs needs to give a complete and accurate account of the use the entity has put public funds to, if DHBs are to meet the spirit of the
Auditor General’s observations.

The Government is going to find demand in Vote Health always exceeds cash available. Reducing the number of DHBs could free up money for more health services.

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