Billion dollar deficits at DHBs show need for sector reforms

Published: Wed 13 Nov 2019 01:14 PM
Billion dollar deficits at DHBs show need for sector reforms
13 NOVEMBER 2019
DHBs need significant reforms to ensure the future health of taxpayers, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says “Unless DHBs are reformed, big health sector deficits will continue to grow and impoverish taxpayers as the population ages. Instead of kicking the can down the road, the Government should make urgent changes."
“There are a range of inefficiencies in the current system that need focus from DHBs. Missed specialist appointments cost taxpayers $29 million in 2016/17, for example. Adverse drug reaction treatment cost taxpayers $280 million between 2015/16 and 2017/18.”
“In addition to reigning in costs, the Government should amend rules on board appointments by allowing the Minister to appoint more board members and tying board remuneration to performance. DHB amalgamation would also cut administrative costs, freeing up more money for core health services.”
These proposals come from a series of Taxpayers’ Union reports focused on the health sector, released in July, which are available here.

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