Craig Foss, MP: District Health Board Debacle

Like many of you, I was blown away at the decision of the Health Minister to sack the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB).

The Minister is forcing Hawke’s Bay to pay a terrible price so that he can keep his cabinet colleagues happy. Regardless of your political preferences, this is a total and absolute disgrace.

The Minister has given no clear reason for the board’s dismissal, other than to say his action was prompted by “a deteriorating situation” in the board’s governance. Given that the Board was elected in October 2007, has only met twice since, and that the Minister has hardly communicated with them, it is unbelievable for the Minister to pass that judgment. This whole saga stinks of other agendas.

I would like to thank the elected board members for all they have done for Hawke’s Bay during their time on the Board, and the commitment they have shown to fighting for the best outcomes for Hawke’s Bay throughout this debacle.

The sacking of the Board is an attempt by the Minister to sweep under the carpet the issues that led to this current fiasco, including the allegations of possible conflict of interest of a board member.

By using our DHB as his political punch-bag, the Minister is also using you, who freely elected our DHB, as his political punch-bag. I have faith that the truth behind all of this nonsense will eventually come out.

Last Friday over 250 people came to a public meeting that Chris Tremain and I hosted at the Taradale Town Hall . Many more couldn’t get in or gave their apologies. The meeting was an opportunity to give Hawke’s Bay people a chance to have their say about the “DHB debacle”.

Following the support we received from those at the public meeting we have written to the Minister expressing dissatisfaction with the whole process. Many people at the meeting added their comments to this letter. We also want the Minister of Health to ask the Auditor-General to step in and investigate the alleged conflict of interest case at Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. If elected, National will immediately start the process to restore local control of our DHB.

In the meantime, thank you so much to everyone who is involved in our health sector and delivering our health services. You are doing a fantastic job in an environment that takes unique talents and skills.

Craig Foss, MP

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1 Comment

  1. Relatively decent article Craig, whislt I would agree that the manner in which this whole matter has been dealt with is less than desirable.

    However, I do have to say that the alleged public up roar is grossly premature and local Government politicians run to spend our ratepayers dollars in legal challenges is hardly desirable.

    But if National is elected into power they (as you say) will immediately 'restore' local control of the DHB, the reality is that when you where last in power you did exactly the opposite.

    Wasn't it your colleague Tony Ryall who declined to be totally honest about Nationals intention to remove the cap on Doctor's fees during the recent announcement of National Health Policy.

    Who are we (the voters) to trust?

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