Southland health workers updated on sector reforms

Southland Hospital. Photo: ODT files
Southland Hospital. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Southland health workers learnt more about the Government’s health sector reforms yesterday.

Representatives from the health reform transition unit visited Invercargill and conducted a meeting at the Civic Theatre, which was attended by more than 70 health workers.

The reforms outline a move to a single national entity, Health New Zealand, which will involve amalgamating all 20 district health boards and developing local health networks to tailor services to local communities.

A Maori Health Authority will also be established.

Health transition unit director Martin Hefford said those attending the event asked a wide range of questions and indicated they were keen to keep up to date with the reform progress.

“We are really excited to be out on the road talking to a really wide range of the health workforce,’’ he said.

‘‘The health sector workforce has an absolutely critical and important role in delivering the transformation. They’re where the rubber hits the road. They need to know what the new system will deliver for them, and for the people, whanau and communities they care for.’’

It was expected there would be other meetings and community engagement events in the Southland region up until July next year, when the new system would be in place, he said.

‘‘The reform programme is progressing well, and we do want to make sure people have the chance to learn more about what’s been achieved, what’s under way and, importantly, what they can expect over the next nine months.’’

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