A series of reports done secretly for Auckland's three health boards is bad news for the Government, confirming Treasury advice that hospital productivity appears to be declining, despite huge funding increases.
The latest of the reports, dated last July, points to possible annual savings of $35.5 million or 13 per cent of the relevant budgets.
Health Minister Pete Hodgson declined to comment last night because he had not seen the reports.
I'm not surprised that the 4bn extra health spend has not translated into more First Specialist Appointments and decreased Waiting Lists for Surgery.
A huge amount went into Refurbishing an office to house the Ministry and doubling of the number of bureaucrats in the Ministry. These new leeches have to justify their jobs by requesting endless reports, meetings and feedbacks from the Senior Medical Staff instead of just allowing them to get on with their work.
Aucklands new hospital has fewer beds than the last one (if the numbers of the old NWH and Greenlane Hearts beds are added in) and fewer operating rooms! - this results in surgery cancellations because of bed and theatre unavailability.
The medical staff have to move between two sites - one for in-patients (Auckland Hospital) and one for out-patients (Greenlane Clincal Centre). This eats into their time at work.
Vastly expensive dysfunctional computer systems and an irrational change in lab services provider have further eaten into the budgets.
In the meantime they bleat about decreased productivity!