Brent Morrissey’s presentation to the Grey Power meeting on 24 September
The Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) is the agency with the statutory responsibility to deliver health services to Auckland As a democratically elected board it has a duty to report transparently to the people of Auckland on the decisions it makes affecting health service availability, spending, and clinical initiatives.
Two significant issues have recently arisen where transparency has very clearly not been observed by Auckland’s DHB
One relates to the impact on pharmaceutical costs to Aucklanders – should the Government agree to sign the Trans Pacific Free Trade Agreement (TPPA) and allow American pharmaceutical companies to challenge the functions and decisions of New Zealand drug purchasing agency PHARMAC. The agency has saved New Zealand taxpayers five billion dollars since its establishment by the Clark Labour Government twelve years ago, and is directly responsible for making the cost of pharmaceuticals to the customer in New Zealand the lowest in the OECD.
The new Labour leader David Cunliffe has strongly signalled his wish to have all matters relating to the TPPA available for public scrutiny – a suggestion the Prime Minister has flatly rejected. It appears to be no accident that the National/ Citizens and Ratepayer dominated ADHB is also following the Government’s position on this matter.
ADHB has to my mind a clear duty to explain to Aucklanders the seriousness of the risks to the public’s access to cost effective medicine’s. As Auckland’s health delivery agency ADHB must seek on behalf of Aucklanders clarification from the Ministry of Health and the Government of the extent of that risk should New Zealand sign up to the TPPA .
The other issue concerns the rumoured $74 million cut in service funding recently decided by the DHB in secret and yet to be announced to the public. One of the services apparently earmarked for closure is the older peoples recovery ward at Auckland Hospital . Grey Power is one elder care organisation expressing concern that if true this closure will deliver Auckland’s elderly people a double blow if the drastic service cuts resulting from the reduction of subsidies for home help for the elderly back in June this year is also considered .
City Vision Health ADHB Candidate
Further reading: TPPA – PHARMAC and the role of the DHB