New Zealand Labour Party

Razor gang takes scalpel to health

Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says

“Leaked documents reveal a radical shake-up of the health sector is underway. Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is trying to distance himself from it by saying it is a ‘third party’ report, not Government policy and that he hasn’t read it. That is just not believable.

“The proposed restructure includes centralising control, replacing elected board members with a razor gang of Government appointed ones, and disbanding both the National Health Board and the National Health Committee.

“Alongside that, the Director General will be involved in setting performance pay for chief executives while four new ‘pools ’of funding will be created, imposing extra levels of bureaucracy.

“This is all being done under the guise of a ‘capability and capacity’ review, with the Minister and the Director General hiding behind a shonky ‘consultation’ process that has excluded DHB chairs and CEOs.

“To call it devious is an understatement. It is sneaky and it is underhand.

“Kiwis are sick and tired of this endless restructuring. They would much prefer their money to be spent on better services than on this sort of empire building.”