The Southern District Health Board did not need advice
from an American-based firm, as there is plenty of help
available closer to home, the senior doctors' union says.
The Otago Daily Times reported yesterday the board
spent nearly $1.3 million on consultants in 2012-13, among
which more than $81,000 was shelled out for the services of
The Advisory Board Company, of the United States.
The board told the ODT it needed to ''stay current in
an international world''. It continued to ''subscribe'' to
the American-based firm's network, but further detail on the
spending entailed was unavailable.
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive
director Ian Powell said the board was looking in the wrong
places for answers.
''One has to ask why the DHB is looking outwards for advice,
when it should be drawing on the clinical and operational
expertise available within its own organisation,'' Mr Powell
''Senior doctors and other clinical staff are used to solving
problems every day, and could contribute much of value if
resourced to engage.
''They are certainly more in touch with the needs of patients
in their communities, and the realities of providing health
care for Southern DHB, than an American consulting firm.''
If it needed external comparisons, the board could access
plenty of information from Australian and New Zealand public
hospitals, he said. The spending came to light as the board
continued to grapple with leaks affecting the surgical
theatre suite at Dunedin Hospital, Mr Powell said.
''There are probably a few other things the DHB could be
spending $1.3 million on.
''It's about getting the best value for money for the DHB's
patients and the people working there, and I'm not convinced
that throwing handfuls of cash at outside experts is going to