6 October 2004
“Increasing concern over new health bureaucracies”
“There is increasing concern over the new government-supported Primary Health Organisations simply becoming another
layer of bureaucracy in an already heavily bureaucratised health system,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the decision of the Hutt Valley District
Health Board to grant an additional $250,000 to support its PHOs.
“There is a serious risk of the much promoted Primary Health Organisations becoming parallel bureaucracies alongside
the existing 21 district health boards. It would make more sense to use the existing resources of district health boards
to provide organisational, computer and other necessary support for PHOs.”
“This growth of new layers of bureaucracy seems to be based on unnecessary distrust and lack of confidence in the
relationship between primary care and district health boards. But the creation of new bureaucratic structures instead
risks increasing this distrust and lack of confidence.”
“Primary Health Organisations have great potential to further improve the quality and accessibility of primary care and
to increase its coordination with hospital-based services. However, this potential will be undermined by excessive
bureaucracy,” concluded Mr Powell.