Caring a serious business
How many people do you know that have ended up in hospital?
Auckland District Health Board chairman Lester Levy says everyone needs medical help at some point – so everyone should care about the board’s upcoming elections.
‘‘A friend asked me why I do it, and it’s the same answer I always give: one day you or someone you love will need serious health care. I want to play a part in that care.’’
Nominations for the seven elected positions on the Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) open this Friday and run to August 16.
Voting will be held from September 25 to October 12.
There are 20 district health boards in New Zealand coordinating the day-to-day business of the health system within their boundary areas.
The ADHB has a $2 billion operating revenue which makes it one of the biggest businesses in New Zealand, Dr Levy says.
He says the large scale means heavy responsibility for board members, particularly so in tough financial times.
‘‘We’re talking about large and complex business. People need to be ready,’’ he says.
Dr Levy has spent a lifetime in the health sector including working as the South Auckland Health chief executive, MercyAscot Private Hospital Group founder and NZ Blood Service chief executive.
He is also chairman of the Waitemata DHB and will continue as chairman of both until 2015, because he was appointed out of cycle in 2012.
He says people who are interested should really consider their capacity for the role, including health and financial literacy.
Members need to attend weekly Wednesday meetings, take part in committees and keep up with reading material in their own time including 300-plus page agendas.
It is a time-consuming but rewarding job, he says.
‘‘It’s definitely for people who have that sense of service, commitment and interest in the area.’’
Votes in the election are made using the single transferable voting system, with voters ranking candidates in order of preference.
Health focus: Dr Lester Levy wants more people to care about the Auckland District Health Board’s upcoming elections.