Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ending the DHB scam

This morning the government announced a major shakeup for the health system, abolishing DHBs and centralising control under a single entity. I don't know enough about health policy to comment on whether this is a good idea or not, but it doesn't bode well that the government is spinning this as being about efficiency and doing more with less rather than committing to properly funding health. But one thing I do welcome is the end of the sham of elected DHBs. As I've noted before, while elected, they have no power or independence, with all decisions effectively made by how much money the Ministry of Health parcels out from Wellington. Their real purpose is to serve as a blame sink for the Minister, someone they can point the finger at and blame (for being "inefficient" or running a deficit) to avoid accepting responsibility for inadequate funding. Their abolition will restore a measure of honesty to the health system, and allow everyone to see where responsibility lies: with the Minister in Wellington.