GP bosses hit back at criticism
Three primary health organisation (PHO) bosses have accused government staff of ‘‘underhand tactics’’ in ‘‘attacking’’ Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) members and staff over funding.
Professor Les Toop of Pegasus Health, Dr Lorna Martin of Rural Canterbury PHO and Dr Angus Chambers of Christchurch PHO came out swinging in a statement directed at politicians and senior Ministry of Health (MOH) staff released yesterday.
In it they called for an ‘‘immediate, independent, comprehensive and transparent review of Canterbury’s overall funding’’.
The statement comes after Treasury last week published scathing analysis accusing the CDHB of poor financial performance and using manipulative strategies to gain additional funding the board claims it needs to deal with a postearthquake population.
Canterbury Hospitals’ Medical Staff Association deputy chair Dr Alistair Humphrey and three senior CDHB doctors have also publicly criticised the Government in the wake of the Treasury letter.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman did not directly respond to the letter, but said the Government had increased the CDHB’s funding in 2017-2018, but ‘‘like all parts of the health system, there is always more to be done’’.
The PHO chairs said Canterbury’s general practice system had made many improvements in patient care ‘‘despite ongoing erosion of national support and latterly by destructive behaviours from the centre’’.
The three PHOs, who support general practitioners, receive their funding through the CDHB.
Toop said the relationship between the CDHB and the Government had been breaking down for a long time.
‘‘There’s a long troubled history between the ministry in Wellington, and Christchurch,’’ he said.
‘‘This is too important for party politics and personality clashes.’’