Tuesday April 16, 2019
Health Select Committee presentation
Sally Webb, our Board Chair, and I recently travelled to Wellington to present to the Health Select Committee, and answer questions on behalf of our DHB, something which DHBs do regularly.
We covered a broad range of topics in a short space of time and it was a great opportunity to share some of the positive initiatives we have underway.
Sally began by telling the committee about how our Strategic Health Services Plan is driving the way we’re looking at service delivery in the Bay, and how we’re starting to see the development of the Health Care Home model of care.
She noted our commitment to equity and the developing Māori strategic plan, Te Toi Ahorangi. Te Toi Ahorangi is being undertaken in conjunction with our iwi rūnanga (representatives of our iwi) and we’re very excited about the direction. It’s a real opportunity to make a difference regarding Māori health statistics.
Sally also spoke of the influence of our values on our organisation, including the recent Speak Up Safely campaign, and the Board’s commitment to having an organisation that is values driven.
We noted a number of positive projects and results such as:
- Maori dental enrolments, where we’ve seen an improvement in our Māori population, from sitting at about 59%, round about 18 months ago, to 96% now.
- How proud we are of our clinical schoolbeing awarded clinical campus status by the University of Auckland, and of so many of our clinicians receiving teaching awards from the University of Auckland medical school this year.
- How the Rural Health Inter-professional Immersion Programme (RHIIP), which is an interdisciplinary programme encouraging people to work rurally, goes from strength to strength.
- How excited and optimistic we are about the new leadership structure within our mental health service. And how much we are looking forward to the ministry response to the national mental health review.
- In respect of rural care, our focus on the concept of Health Care Home, using the broader healthcare team and not being as reliant on GPs alone. We’ve had a proactive approach in terms of encouraging nurse practitioners supporting rural provision and that’s shown some great results.
- The practice at Te Kaha, which is our most remote practice, which achieves great best breast and cervical screening rates, For a community which could potentially be seen as being vulnerable, they’re instead receiving wonderful service.
We also pointed out to the committee the significant challenges we face in the Bay of Plenty.
We raised the topic of the Bay’s significant population growth, and the demographics of our population. In the West we have a higher ageing population, and a fast-growing population. In the East, we have a different demographic, with a high Māori population, many people living rurally and very little population growth. So that, in itself, brings a number of challenges for us in servicing our total community.
Whilst we spoke about the great progress that’s been made on lots of health measures, we also spoke about our concerns over low immunisation rates, and the challenge of improving them.
The committee was interested in our infrastructure needs and understanding our ED demand and the drivers behind that. In discussing that, Sally and I noted our concern at the pace of change of system integration between primary and secondary services.
Whilst we have our share of challenges, it was good to be able to share our successes with the Committee.
Thank you for all your hard work and passion for making a difference for our community, which has driven those successes.