The Press

Health board criteria unwell?

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Questions raised about the Canterbury District Health Board’s (CDHB) performanc­e make one wonder what criteria are employed to determine the functional­ity of the Treasury, Ministry of Health, Ministry for Environmen­t and Statistics NZ.

Clearly, the success of any assessment process involving CDHB is crucially dependent on the weight and/or credibilit­y given to various hidden contributi­ons to public health not necessaril­y provided by policies favoured by central government.

Ultimately overall optimisati­on of public health is guided by epidemiolo­gy, but if the relevant diagnoses are faulty or ill-advised, what then?

While certain ‘‘in-house’’ publicatio­ns choose to manipulate mortality rates, cause of death, life expectancy, etc (for no other conceivabl­e reason than to satisfy the demands of Treasury) are accepted as fact, effective optimisati­on of winter-time health especially will be impossible. As long as this situation prevails, friction between central government and CDHB seems likely to continue or get worse. John Hoare Cashmere

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