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Web pollsters show little faith in planned health reforms


That was the response to this week's online webpoll question, “Do you think the major health system reforms under way will improve health in this region?”

An overwhelming 80 percent of the 318 poll respondents (214 people) said they had no confidence in the reforms, announced last April, which will result in the country's 20 health boards being abolished by mid-2022. They will be replaced by a new public health agency, Health NZ, and four regional divisions.

Only 20 percent of respondents (64 people) had confidence in the reforms while 13 percent (40 people) ticked the “don't know” box.

Some who lacked confidence in the reforms said Covid-19 should be given greater funding responsibility, or that Covid-19 was taking too much funding from the health system.

Comments included:

' “Any changes should be delayed. Every dollar available should be spent on increasing ICU beds and staff. We have a world pandemic!”

' “All our health money is being squandered preparing for Omicron. That cough you have when you've caught a cold. The results will not be pretty.”

Other views expressing lack of confidence included:

'“I am worried about getting old and sick here with the health system the way it is. I am not optimistic it will improve.”

' “It is hard to believe that centralisation is the ‘fix it all' to any current problems.”

' “Other ventures taking administration out of Gisborne fail dismally.”

Among the comments in favour were these:

' “We need help and commonsense planning ahead, not just for Covid.”

' “Yes, if the government use the billions stashed in ACC.

' “If everyone works together all will be OK”.

One person who was unsure asked, “Where do we find out about these reforms?”