Sustained growth in winter and urgent (acute) demand requires prioritization of CMDHB resources

Media release 2 March 2018 | Increasing demand, limited resources and financial challenges means Counties Manukau Health is looking at how it can provide cost effective and improved services which meet the growing needs of its community. 

At a recent Board meeting, CMDHB heard from Acting Chief Executive Gloria Johnson that the number of patients who came to Middlemore Hospital in summer this year was similar to the levels usually only experienced in winter. 

“The peak numbers of presentations at Emergency Care during the summer months have reached the same high levels of demand as were seen in winter 2017,” said Dr Johnson.

Rabin Rabindran, Chair of CMDHB, said Counties Manukau Health is committed to providing high quality health services to accommodate a growing and thriving population. To ensure this is sustainable, the Board is considering its approach to turning around CM Health’s financial position.

He says the organisation is working together with frontline clinicians, health care users and providers, and manawhenua representatives to identify how Counties Manukau Health can work differently to ensure that resources are prioritised to those most immediate needs.  

“We’re looking at all of our options, including what services we provide,  how we can work better with our providers and possibly increasing our investment in some areas in the expectation that this will reduce our costs in the long-term.

“As a health board, we want to ensure that the decisions we make will add the most value to the ongoing health needs of our community.  This may mean that we need to redirect resources, particularly during what we anticipate to be a difficult winter this year.   

“For example each year thousands of patients make the trip to Middlemore Hospital and the Manukau SuperClinic for outpatient appointments.  What if some of these outpatient appointments could be done virtually - from the comfort of a person’s home?   We are currently looking at what this would mean from a cost saving and patient perspective. 

“In the coming weeks the board will be carefully evaluating a range of options to help determine what our health priorities should be.  Our community will have an important role to play in any decisions that we make.”


For further information, contact the Counties Manukau Health media line on 09 250 9857.

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