3 Dec 2009

New board 'to improve health spending'

11:59 am on 3 December 2009

A Maori member of the new National Health Board has denied that it is an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, and says it will improve district health boards' spending.

The board is being set up inside the Ministry of Health to consolidate the national planning and funding of information technology, workforce planning and capital investment for all 21 boards.

Hayden Wano, a former Taranaki board chair, told Waatea News it will improve the way the boards spend $10 billion a year on hospitals and primary health care.

"I would personally like to think it's an opportunity to provide a sharper focus for the sector around spending at a national level," Mr Wano says.

The National Health Board also includes Ngati Hine Hauora chief executive Rob Cooper, a member of the Auckland DHB.

The board will be chaired by former Treasury Secretary Murray Horn. Other members are: Virginia Hope, Jeff Brown, Bev O'Keefe, Margaret Wilsher, Mary Gordon, Marion Guy, Des Gorman and Graeme Osborne.