Spend more on health
Your editorial and articles (Jul 20) on the claimed undermining of the Canterbury DHB by the Ministry of Health are revealing of a problem not just of contentious data but also of policies our ministry is tasked to pursue.
The core issue seems not only whether locally specific demographics – numbers of older people, mental health victims, overseas rebuilders, physically challenged or accident-prone farmworkers, un- or under-housed – have been misread, underestimated and are therefore un-provisioned for.
Our experienced doctors are asserting, I think more importantly, that making unrealistic budget balancing a matter primarily of CEO or board competence effectively derails pressure for policy change.
As a freelancer visiting Christchurch in April for a story on health provision, I learned our policy of spending 6 per cent of GDP on health is half that now recommended by British doctors associations. They too are finally speaking out on behalf of patients and profession.