Poor communication criticised

Marion Poore
Marion Poore
Health board candidates hit out at poor communication between departments and the roadblock effect of unions at a candidates meeting in Queenstown yesterday.

Candidates for both the Southern District Health Board and Otago Regional Council addressed about 30 people at the meeting, hosted by GreyPower.

Four health board candidates - John MacDonald, Dr Marion Poore, Kaye Crowther and Neville Cook - attended the meeting, while other candidates sent in statements.

All of the candidates present were critical of the level of communication and co-operation between departments.

Mr MacDonald said "the lack of working cohesively as one system is a problem''.

He said teams in the organisation often worked in "silos'', which meant patients ended up needing multiple appointments to deal with one issue.

Mr Cook said all the candidates had highlighted the need for better co-operation.

"If you've got three separate things to do in Invercargill, you should be able to get all of those done in the same day.''

Dr Poore said each service needed to be regularly reviewed.

Unions representing doctors and nurses also came under fire.

Dr Poore said the unions were a "massive problem'' when it came to changing or implementing new services.

"Our rethinking of the models of care and better ways of doing things, better ways of using our scarce resources, it's going to be a really difficult one to change that.''

Mr MacDonald said the unions had been "obstructive'' in some areas.

"It's like patch protection. They want to keep their jobs.

"But the model of care, some of this stuff has to move out of the hospitals and into the community so it's closer to home, and they are really reluctant to let it happen.''

Concerns were also raised about a focus on Dunedin Hospital, at the expense of the regions.

Several candidate meetings are taking place in Queenstown this week, including at Kelvin Heights tonight, Frankton tomorrow night, and a regional council candidate meeting in Frankton at 7pm on Sunday.




It is disappointing to read that Dr Poore, a retired public health physician, has concerns regarding unions. I was fortunate to attend a presentation by the late Helen Kelly to ASMS the senior doctors Union in 2015. She argued with evidence that not only did employees in Union have better terms and conditions they also had significantly better health and safety arrangements in the workplace which saves lives and reduces injury. Thank goodness we live in country which allows union membership and representation.

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