How not to rebuild public hospitals

On 23 May BusinessDesk published my article arguing that the Government’s health restructuring (specifically the abolition of district health boards – DHBs) had distracted it from addressing four crises. These were severe workforce shortages, major capital works, leadership culture (top-down managerialism), and medicines supply which had been inherited in 2017 from the previous National led government.Continue reading “How not to rebuild public hospitals”

Scandal or temptation in the health restructuring transition unit?

Although linked words, ‘scandal’ and ‘scandalous’ are not the same. Scandal is a noun for an incident or event that disgraces or damages the reputation of the persons or organisations involved. Scandalous is an adjective derived from scandal. Scandals are caused by scandalous behaviour that is wrong or immoral behaviour. Although scandalous behaviour can lead to aContinue reading “Scandal or temptation in the health restructuring transition unit?”

DHBs: “Nice little earners” for EY

On 5 May Newsroom published a revealing article by investigative journalist David Williams on the rapid increase of income earned by EY business consultants (formerly known as Ernst & Young) from Aotearoa New Zealand’s district health boards: Rise and rise of EY in DHBs. This conjured up for me an image of the British comedy-drama MinderContinue reading “DHBs: “Nice little earners” for EY”

I’m sorry I haven’t a clue; parody in action

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue is a famous BBC radio and television show, billed as the antidote to panel games and launched in 1972. A parody of panel shows, it features two teams of two comedians each being given “silly things to do” by a compere. ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’ a parody adaptableContinue reading “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue; parody in action”

Baldrick’s ‘cunning plan’: A health restructuring transition unit without a transition plan

On 21 April 2021 Minister of Health Andrew Little announced a major restructuring of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system involving three main changes to take effect on 1 July 2022. Better understanding the third of these changes is helped by drawing upon Baldrick of the Blackadder television comedy. The first two changes are commendable; the establishment ofContinue reading “Baldrick’s ‘cunning plan’: A health restructuring transition unit without a transition plan”

An unresponsive Prime Minister and Health Minister to a best endeavour

I have expressed my concerns in these postings and other media outlets about the Government’s decision, without mandate or engagement with the health sector, to abolish district health boards (DHBs) in Aotearoa New Zealand’s public health system (thereby abandoning the longstanding democratic principle of subsidiarity between central and local government). I have also expressed concernContinue reading “An unresponsive Prime Minister and Health Minister to a best endeavour”

Bye-bye subsidiarity; hello democratic deficit

Every piece of parliamentary legislation has a ‘purpose’ clause describing the legal means or effect of the legislation, usually clause 3 which communicates its intent. The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill setting up the foundations of the New Zealand (Aotearoa) health system from 1 July is no exception. The Bill is now at the select committeeContinue reading “Bye-bye subsidiarity; hello democratic deficit”

Strategic Covid-19 direction needed, not traffic lights red herrings

The debate over whether New Zealand’s Covid-19 ‘traffic lights’ system should be lowered from ‘red’ to ‘orange’ misses the point. In short, it is a red herring. The traffic light system is less about protecting the public and more about branding. The traffic lights system was not recommended by experts except as a fine-tuning ofContinue reading “Strategic Covid-19 direction needed, not traffic lights red herrings”

More than egg running down face; it’s an entire poultry farm’s yolk

What does a Treasury ‘Investor Confidence Review’ (ICR) and a poultry farm have in common? Nothing really apart from an exceptional climatic event – the central government bureaucratic coup against the leadership of Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) in 2020. The circumstances of this coup have been extensively covered by my three 2021 Democracy ProjectContinue reading “More than egg running down face; it’s an entire poultry farm’s yolk”

What makes good public health sense also makes good sense for other things

As my ‘love affair’ with New Zealand Aotearoa’s public health system grew over many years I learnt to pick up on a few soundbites that aptly summarised it. One was that if something made good clinical sense it would also make good financial sense. With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) in March 2020Continue reading “What makes good public health sense also makes good sense for other things”