In a recent HealthCentral article about the lack of gastroenterologists, Gastroenterology Society president, associate professor Michael Schultz, said that “… when the government directed funding to DHBs to reduce waiting lists … lots of DHBs took the ‘quick fix’ option of outsourcing procedures to the private sector, or offering Saturday lists, rather than investing in infrastructure or employing more doctors.”

Professor Schultz seems to be implying that this has led to a workforce issue within the public sector, which the Private Surgical Hospitals Association disputes.

Our Association endorses, has been and remains supportive and committed to effective and timely workforce planning.  This is an issue that impacts both sectors. Our members actively support DHBs in providing elective surgery capacity in partnership, to deliver healthcare for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

In our view it’s certainly not a case of ‘us or them’.  The private sector complements and not competes with the public sector and we seek to work collaboratively with it to ensure there is appropriate skilled capacity to deliver the services that New Zealanders require – now and into the future.

Private hospitals have capacity to aid and contribute. We are more than happy to share such capacity with DHBs.

We welcome ongoing dialogue and partnership with DHBs throughout the country.

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