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Health Boards

Forgive my absence over the last week or two - i have been otherwise engaged. and holidaying in the Wellington region.

I will deal with the aftermath of 5 January, and the LTP later in the week, but in the meantime, cannot ignore the extreme lessons that must be exercising the minds of those responsible in Government for the disaster that constitutes our 24 board run health system.

What on earth inspired the designers of this democratic nightmare, one will never know. For a population of 4.5m people, the very concept of a health service run by a bunch of well meaning amateurs is almost beyond belief., The results are there for all to see, first in Waikato, then in Counties-Manukau, and in virtually every other board area with run down facilities, and staff that barely know which way to turn'

Compare this situation with that in England where the entire nation's health services - the independent from Government, NHS is headed up by a New Zealander (from my home-town - Oamaru, and alma mater - Waitaki BHS) - Sir Malcolm Grant - a legal academic who previously headed University College London, for ten years. His organisation is regarded as the most successful health provider in the World, with a total budget of $NZ232billion, and a staff of several hundred thousand - one of the largest, if not the largest employer in the entire World. 

Somehow, his organisation manages to implement Government policy, and achieve customer satisfaction totally at opposite poles to that achieved here. Our Government may well consider approaching him for advice on just how to dismantle this bumbling structure that we have created in New Zealand with which no one can be satisfied.

The whole idea of people of the quality prepared to stand for election to these 24 hybrid monsters can be expected to exercise any level of firm control, let alone understand the complexities of the job is quite beyond me - just take a look at the result. The fact that the Waikato CEO was able to take this motley crew for a ride for so long is testament to their ability, and corporate knowledge. When you see the same people on our councils, you are left to shiver!

Sir Malcolm's six (2 x 3) year term finishes later this year, and he may be just the person our Government should approach to examine, report, and hopefully bring some rationality back into our system, starting with the elimination of the elected/appointed boards, and appointment of a major domo of his quality.

Look at this article by Eileen Goodwin from the ODT dated 18 October 2015.

And here for remarkable keynote speech that he delivered at a Orion Healthcare conference. 



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