17 Oct 2012

$110m savings made by health boards, MPs told

7:45 pm on 17 October 2012

District health boards have saved $110 million in back-office administration and support efficiencies in the past two years, MPs were told on Wednesday.

The Health Benefits Limited group also told members of Parliament's health select committee that much bigger savings will be achieved long-term.

Health Benefits Limited, or HBL, was set up by the Government several years ago with the aim of finding administrative and support savings across the 20 DHBs within five years.

HBL chiefs told the committee they have worked with boards to find $110 million in savings since mid-2010 and they are on target to meet the wider goal.

They say they have gained agreement from DHBs and are working on a detailed business case to underpin a collective approach to finance, buying and supplying items needed by all public hospitals.

Chairperson Ted van Arkel says having common procurement and other systems across the 20 DHBs is vital in a country the size of New Zealand.

HBL says it's also keen to rationalise information services, human resources and payrolls for DHBs.