22 Nov 2010

Agency to take control of 'vulnerable' health services

5:17 pm on 22 November 2010

A government agency is to take over central planning and funding for some health services it regards as vulnerable to failure because of their small size and complexity.

The new National Health Board within the Health Ministry says it will take over the services next financial year.

The services identified as vulnerable are clinical genetics and four specialist child health services, including paediatric pathology and cardiology.

The board says difficulties retaining specialists make the services vulnerable to any lack of co-ordination.

It says a second set of services, including cardiac surgery, paediatric oncology, neurosurgery and major trauma, will also be co-ordinated nationally, but still funded by district health boards.

A member of the NHB, paediatrician Jeff Brown, says the move will be good for patients and provide better back-up for the services.