Better Health South - Board Update November 2020

David Perez, acting chair.
David Perez, acting chair.
Kia ora, and welcome to my debut column as Acting Chair for Southern DHB. You will know I have assumed this role following Dave Cull’s decision to step down last month, and we wish him every strength with the health challenges he is facing.

I do not know how many monthly columns I may have ahead of me; the newly appointed Minister of Health is yet to name a successor to this role. But it in the meantime, it is an honour to lead the Southern health system as we progress our ongoing work in the area I have dedicated my entire career to – enhancing health services for the community.

It was especially heartening to start this new role by receiving some great news.

Southern DHB has been awarded $5.9 million in capital funding and $1.2 million in initiative funding from the Ministry of Health to support improvements in targeted areas, including:

  • An additional CT scanner for Dunedin Hospital
  • A fifth theatre for Southland Hospital
  • Rolling out the prioritisation tool to identify patients most in need of elective surgery
  • Strengthening telehealth services to provide video consultations
  • Direct access to scans and other imaging for primary care
  • Support to deliver respiratory services in the community
  • Support for direct access to endocrinology services
  • upport for rheumatology services.

All DHBs were requested to put in bids several weeks ago for a total pool of $57 million in contestable funding. Southern DHB received nearly double the funding we would have received if it had been determined on a population basis. This was more than our fair share and I want to acknowledge the effort of the team led by Executive Director Specialist Services Patrick Ng who put in the bids – the outcome is a credit to them all.

Thank you to everyone working to care for people across our communities, and I look forward to sharing more of our highlights and progress with you.

Ngā mihi nui,

Check out these other Better Health South Stories:
Books for Babies celebrated
Public Health officials urge safe handling of potting mix
New unit opens at Dunedin Hospital Emergency Department
Free catch-up on measles vaccination for 15- to 30-year-olds
Southern doctor finalist for Clinical Educator of the Year Award
Extra funding a great result for SDHB
Southerners with cold/flu symptoms urged to get tested


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