The Simpson review recommends:
- Create centralised Crown entity called Health NZ to review financial performance
- Reduce the number of DHBs from 20 to 8-12 within five years
- Make DHBs more accountable to the entire population
- Health Minister should appoint DHB board members
- Create a Māori Health Authority
I’m in favour of the first four major recommendations. I’d like to see the Government commit to them. Alas they have not, despite the spin.
Health Minister David Clark said Cabinet has accepted the case for health sector reform, particularly the recommendations to reduce fragmentation, strengthen leadership and accountability, and improve equity for access and outcomes for all Kiwis.
He said decisions on individual recommendations will be taken to Cabinet over the coming months and into the next term of Parliament.
This means little. They have not indicated any acceptance of specific recommendations, and will probably try not to until after the election.
They’ve had the report for three months. Plenty of time to consider it and say what their response is. But they haven’t. We do not know if they will actually reduce the number of DHBs and make them all appointed.
National should show the Government up, and commit to the first four major recommendations asap.