The declining role of district health boards raises a
question over whether they will continue in their current
form, University of Otago health systems authority Prof Robin
Prof Gauld said ''re-centralisation'' sweeping through
administrative functions and clinical services effectively
downgraded the boards' role, to the point, ''I don't know
what the future of boards is''.
Increasingly, collective goods and service purchasing
decisions were made by overarching Crown entity Health
Benefits Ltd, while multi-region collaboration was becoming
common for clinical services.
Prof Gauld said the election of board newcomer Dunedin
Hospital emergency department specialist Dr John Chambers to
the Southern District Health Board at the weekend was
unsurprising given his high profile and willingness to speak
Electing both Dr Chambers, a hospital specialist, and Dr
Branko Sijnja, a GP, was fitting because the board was trying
to link primary and secondary care more closely.
The SDHB vote turnout was 46.3% in the Otago constituency and
44.2% in Southland.
SDHB members are paid $25,000 a year; the chairman gets
$50,000, and deputy $31,250.