Health Headlines – September 2010
More changes on the horizon
Since our last edition of Health Headlines the health sector has continued to go through a range of changes.
Early in September we heard that Dr Kevin Woods would replace Stephen McKernan as the new Director General of Health and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Health. Kevin has come from Scotland and will bring a different and fresh set of experiences to the role. We will look on with interest to see how he will leave his stamp on the New Zealand health sector.
In August amendments to the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act (2000) were announced. The amendments are likely to bring significant changes to the responsibilities of District Health Boards (DHBs) with there being a greater focus on accountability for regional and national health priorities. However, this could result in some DHBs being faced with a conflict of interest with regard to how they manage their national obligations while still meeting the needs of their district’s population. What will DHBs do - be committed to the wider priorities, or focus on meeting the needs of those who live in their district and who vote them in on October 9.
Next year, we are likely to see more regional cross appointments of board members to more than one DHB. These cross appointments could become an influencing factor leading to the merger of neighbouring DHBs. The changes are another indication of the Governments push towards a more collaborative public health sector. So no doubt next year will be a pivotal year for the New Zealand health sector as it continues to be remoulded.
Since the election of the National lead Government we have witnessed the health sector undergo significant change, and it is unlikely that stability will be achieved in the near future. We hope that the insight which this newsletter provides you with will help you to prepare for the forthcoming wave of change, and navigate through what is turning out to be a challenging period for the health sector.
In this issue of Health Headlines we look at:
- Shall we dance? - Business partnering for Chief Financial Officers
- Opportunities in the mist - The benefits of medical tourism in New Zealand
- Not if but when - Improving theatre efficiency
We hope that you enjoy reading these articles, and we look forward to discussing some of these hot topics with you in the near future.
Graham Naylor and the team