web analytics

Nats give ticket-clipper to private hospitals

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, June 30th, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: health - Tags:

The government has changed the rules so that DHBs can make standing contracts for private hospitals to perform public elective surgeries.

If DHBs start to contract large numbers of electives to these private providers, they will have to hire more medical staff and they’ll have to poach them from the public system. It’s not like there are surgeons on the dole queue.

Indeed, Tony Ryall acknowledges that, saying medicos could earn extra income from doing public jobs contracted to private hospitals. Problem is, if they’re doing more work at the private hospitals, they’ll have to do less at the public hospitals, worsening the staff shortage which is the very reason for turning to the private sector in the first place. You have to wonder how Ryall is going to staff the 20 new elective surgery theatres he has promised when everyone’s off doing publicly-funded ops at private hospitals.

We’re talking the same medical staff performing the same operations. The only difference will be a private profit-making company (in the best tradition of New Zealand business) clipping the ticket on the way through. Nothing has been done to lower the per operation cost. The private hospitals charge for the operation and take their profit, then lump any problems back onto the public system. There’s no actual efficiency gain. It’s ludicrous and it’s clearly designed to undermine the public provision of health-care.

Three concluding remarks:

– National promised that they would include ‘frontline’ medical staff in decision-making. That has not happened. The Association of Salaried Medical Professionals and the Public Helath Association have both criticised the plan.

– National’s obsession with elective surgeries shows they care more about spin than actual results. Electives are good for spin because they’re easy to count (‘electives up 5%!’) but if you’re serious about the health of individuals you put money into preventative and primary health, ensuring people don’t get sick and need costly treatment in the first place. National has cut money to preventative and primary health to put more into electives.

– medical resources are limited and less than demand. Therefore, there needs to be some kind of rationing. That can either be by who has more money or who has greater need. This creeping privatisation of health shows us which National favours.
-Marty G

8 comments on “Nats give ticket-clipper to private hospitals ”

  1. vto 1

    I dont know anything about this sector but I recall being told a few years ago by an inside source that the reason there are so few surgeons in NZ is because the surgeons themselves get to decide how many surgeons can become appropriately qualified each year. Namely, they limit the number of surgeons in NZ in order to keep their price up. True story. Perhaps that particular logjam needs clearing (with dynamite it sounds like) to help the situation.

  2. Fundamentally I think this is an OK idea – why not use all available resources in the system – private or public?

    However, there are issues that need to be addressed to ensure that the outcomes are beneficial and not adverse. With some tinkering I think this could be a good thing though.

  3. Sparo 3

    Good to see this response to a news item which played this morning like an entirely laudable proposition… Minister Ryall explaining how more electives could be done etc..

    But I have a question or so concerning the other side of this.. and asks whether the public purse might in fact be propping a recession-hit demand or paying patient loss in the private sector..?

    And if so why not be transparent about such a reality..?

  4. Quoth the Raven 4

    Of course if they are getting contracts from the government that makes them private only in a fairly ironic sense.

  5. This post is a little weird. If resources were fully used in the private sector, then it would make more sense. The point is that (as I understand it) they have spare beds, spare staff, and so it makes sense to utilise that.

    “Electives are good for spin because they’re easy to count (‘electives up 5%!’)”

    It’s not a trade-off between elective and preventative medicine! Goodness. There are heaps of easily measurable non-elective procedures. Presumably these would be performed in place of the (currently performed) elective procedures at the public hospitals.

    • Zetetic 5.1

      The Budget cut money from preventative. put it in electives. The PHA was complaining that it’s a stupid and wasteful way to run a health system earlier today.

  6. Ron 6

    Tom – Zetetic is on the right track and the PHA is right. Electives are an easy political target because they’re easy to count. There IS a tradeoff between the two as recent cuts demonstarate.

    However, the biggest problem is that while the idea sounds right – use available resources – in fact, it has never worked, anywhere in the world. In fact all the evidence shows that putting public money into private medicine does one thing – it undermines the public system. The growth of a private health sector is inversely proportional to that of a public health sector.

    So in the end this is a political move to LOOK good as elective waiting lists go down
    and
    an ideological move as the Tories start looking after their mates.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago