What did you get - Reporting on the Year Just Past
The 2009/2010 year has been the most difficult of my 10 years as a member of the MidCentral District Health Board.
Over the past 10 years our funding has been good enough to be able to increase and enhance the services we provide in the hospital and in the community.
We have always known that we would not be able to continue to increase services and this year the crunch came.
Our new Minister of Health changed our priorities putting extra pressure on hospital services such as waiting times, and increased surgery. Although, along with all health boards we received extra funding it did not match the amount of services we were providing. Many, we overprovided for. In years past we were able to manage this internally but now we cannot continue to provide services for which Government does not pay. We have a Minister who is intolerant of health boards running deficits. So we had to look at ways of pruning back a $9 million deficit.
We have been careful in how were managed service reviews. We did not cut. Instead we looked at ways we could improve, services which were duplicated and services where the contract was about to end.
So what have we managed to provide in this past year:
Turning around our cost structure so that our expenditure does not continue to outstrip revenue, will return us to a small surplus in two and half years. At the same time we have also advanced primary health and improved elective operations.
“Better, Sooner, More Convenient”
This is a ministerial requirement to change the way we provide primary health services. We are progressively implementing 5 family health centres within our district.
To achieve this, our PHOs have joined together as one to provide more co-ordinated care.
In spite of our service reviews, productivity within the hospital has reached record levels, particularly in elective services, and I acknowledge the commitment of our staff in this.
We have achieved 3 of the 6 national health targets and made significant improvements in the remaining 3.
Our alliance with Whanganui District Health Board (see separate story – http://www.annchapman.net.nz/content/central-alliance) has strengthened, with commercial services provided jointly. Plans are underway for joint human resources and 2 new regional roles are agreed.
We continue to work together at a regional level on clinical services, regional decision making, and asset management and information systems.