The CEO of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board has thrown his weight behind the major health sector shake-up.
Health Minister Andrew Little announced earlier today that the nation’s 20 district health boards, including the BOPDHB, are to be replaced by one new body, Health New Zealand.
The new national body will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the health system. The 20 DHBs will merge into Health NZ.
It is a change welcomed by BOPDHB CEO Pete Chandler.
“It is absolutely time for change in a health system that was designed for a very different context,” he says.
“The Minister’s announcements today are bold and ambitious, with structural changes paving the way for a more streamlined system across Aotearoa.
“Our own current development priorities in the Bay of Plenty, a connected locality-based system, our commitment to equity, taking care of our health workforce and providing safe and compassionate care, align very well with the direction set out today.”
The overhaul will also see the implementation of a new Public Health agency and a Maori Health Authority, with the power to commission health services.
“Organisations themselves are of much less importance than the wonderful healthcare workforce across the healthcare system who work immensely hard every day to provide the best care they can to our communities,” Pete states.
“It is our people who breathe life and energy into whatever structure is formed and I celebrate the amazing GPs, midwives, hospital, community and Māori provider healthcare teams that we have here in the Bay.”
The changes are now said to be in the preparation and transition phase. Legislation is slated to be passed by July 2022 at which point all DHB staff will be transferred to Health NZ on their existing terms and conditions.
Pete says the local DHB are ready for this period of transition.
“It will take some time for the full detail of today’s announcements to gain shape and form in how it will pan out for the Bay of Plenty and this means a time of uncertainty.
“However we’ll walk this journey of change together because the current DHB and PHO teams, along with our Rūnanga partners, share a vision of a fairer, more equitable and accessible model of care for our communities, this what was set out in today’s announcements.
“In the words of Seamus Heaney ‘Believe that a further shore is reachable from here’.”