South Island DHBs save $12 million

By working together, five South Island district health boards have saved $12 million so far this financial year, the South Island Health Alliance has announced.

Acting governance board chairwoman Jenny Black, in a newsletter, said the alliance wanted to increase public awareness of its achievements.

As well as the cost saving, achievements included a single South Island database of cancer patient data; a South Island early warning paediatric observation chart for hospitals; aligning eligibility criteria for older people accessing services; joint purchasing of anaesthetic machines and other equipment; and progress aligning IT systems.

Lead chief executive for the alliance Chris Fleming, of South Canterbury DHB, told the Otago Daily Times the alliance wanted to improve its communication.

"We need to be more open with our communication about where we're heading with it."

The alliance was a big step forward from previous joint planning exercises, which were "less joined up".

All DHBs were contributing to the cost savings, but he was unable to furnish details of which saved most.

Clinicians, rather than planning and funding staff, were in control.

"The priority of where we get alignment and how we make services more sustainable is being driven from a clinical viewpoint," Mr Fleming said.

The Southern DHB was leading the project to align information systems, deputy chief executive Lexie O'Shea said.

The South Island neurosurgical service does not come under the alliance's purview.

It is run by a separate governance body, set up by the Ministry of Health.

- eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

 

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