3 Mar 2009

Hospital services top priority - Ryall

11:59 am on 3 March 2009

Health Minister Tony Ryall says hospital services will be the top priority for the public health system this year.

Mr Ryall has also told all district health board chiefs that he will hold them directly accountable for their board's performance.

Mr Ryall says that the public is concerned about the availability and quality of hospital services, and that will be top of the Government's agenda.

He says the Government expects improved performance from each DHB, within budget, and will meet the heads of each DHB twice a year to discuss their progress.

Mr Ryall says the Government also expects all health boards to adopt good staff practices aimed at valuing employees and promoting trust, in a bid to reduce staff turnover and effects of doctor shortages.

He says primary healthcare is a bipartisan strategy and the Government remains committed to shifting services from hospitals to more convenient locations in the community.