The Southern District Health Board spent more than $80,000 on
consulting advice from a United States-based firm, an
Official Information Act request reveals.
The spending helped the board ''stay current in an
international world'', patient services director Lexie O'Shea
said in a statement.
The $81,358 paid to The Advisory Board Company in February
last year was part of nearly $1.3 million spent on a wide
range of consultants in 2012-13.
It included more than $639,000 paid to
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which advised the board on how to
reduce its deficit.
The figures were released last week, but the board did not
respond to questions until Wednesday this week.
Asked about The Advisory Board Company, Mrs O'Shea said there
were no New Zealand-based providers of ''services of this
''SDHB use [The Advisory Board Company] because they have a
large number of hospitals in their network, which is good for
benchmarking across the world. They are internationally
recognised as best-practice providers and use the latest
''The Advisory Board Company are also very responsive to
requests for information and support, and we have a history
of success in using their [information] for programmes, such
as the productive operating theatre on the Southland site.
''They have offices in Australia, and being part of this
network ensures we stay current in an international world.''
Mrs O'Shea confirmed the board continued to ''subscribe'' to
the US-based company, but did not respond to questions about
the ongoing cost of the service.
Health board chairman Joe Butterfield said when contacted he
did not know the particular circumstances, but considered it
acceptable for the board to seek offshore advice when
The board also released details of more recent spending with
Health Partners Consulting Group, which is analysing and
assessing future health needs in the South.
In the current financial year, Health Partners received more
Former director-general of health Stephen McKernan, of
Auckland, is the company's managing partner.