26 February 2010

DHB quarterly performance results released today, which show variable results and highlight concerning inconsistencies in healthcare delivery across New Zealand, require stronger leadership from the Government, says the New Zealand Medical Association.

"The Government needs to demonstrate a greater leadership role that goes beyond telling DHBs they must do better," says NZMA Chair Dr Peter Foley. "They need to develop promised national frameworks faster and guidelines to govern health services throughout the country. We urgently require this better central coordination. These changes would help to ensure that patients receive health services that are consistently met, regardless of where they live."

"At present we are a long way from providing equitable health delivery to patients."

The variability of DHB results continues to show the problems inherent in having 21 autonomous DHBs in a country of four million people, says Dr Foley.

"Some DHBs had achieved impressive results, such as Hawkes Bay's 91 per cent immunisation target and the West Coast's 99 per cent Emergency Department target. However, the variability between DHBs cannot be ignored. We would urge the Government to make this a priority."