Chris Lynch: CDHB employees deserve better

Author
Chris Lynch,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 2:07PM

Chris Lynch: CDHB employees deserve better

Author
Chris Lynch,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 2:07PM

The Health Minister is being urged to address concerns at the CDHB. Instead, he’s left that to the Director-General of Health, who’s in Christchurch today.

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says the DHB is looking at cutting $13 million dollars in nursing staff, and $3.5 million in savings by reducing jobs for nursing graduates next year.

There could be an additional cutting of more than $2 million dollars in unspecified “job sizing.”

A senior CDHB employee said it’s cheeky of the association to omit the Health Minister’s involvement after all the need to reduce costs is a Government directive.

The employee, who didn’t want to be named for fear of losing their job, claims senior management never accepted that there’s not a bottomless pit of money, and refused to listen to issues brought up by the board on behalf of the Government.

They claim too many healthcare services are outsourced, and senior management failed to tidy up expensive contracts that could have been provided in-house.

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Sarah Dalton says the Ministry has signed off on the cost-cutting plan.

But in a statement, Chris Hipkins’ office said he hasn’t received anything.

He said: “I am very aware that recent resignations at Canterbury DHB have caused concern for staff and the public.”

I have made it clear to the Chair that the DHB must make urgent progress on the recruitment and retention of senior managers.”

Chief Executive David Meates said achieving (the required) savings of $56.9m will be a stretch and will impact on service delivery which will be minimised where practical through innovation - at this stage nothing is off the table.”

It's a shame CDHB personnel and the incredible frontline staff, the real heroes of the CDHB, can’t talk openly about internal issues for fear of being sacked.

That’s a wider problem that must be address - according to dozens of emails I’ve received from stressed-out frontline staff, many claim a toxic culture has thrived under some senior managers.

In what I thought was a powerful post on my Facebook page, it was suggested some CDHB senior staff are using an emotive ploy by focusing people away from the real problem - a bloated bureaucracy.

“Instead of dealing with the bureaucracy, the word goes out that medical staff jobs are at stake - cue public indignation. Result? More Government funding, and once received, the bureaucracy increase again.”

When the Director-General of Health speaksto the CDHB, let’s hope he hears all sides and takes a deeper look into what some describe as the power-hungry overly litigious people and culture department.