September 11, 2023
Health reforms chilling front line talk
A public health champion says centralisation is silencing voices in health.
Health Coalition Aotearoa Boyd Swinburn says whereas in the past individual district health boards and government-funded organisations would make submissions on legislation or advocate for change, the creation of Te Whatu Ora has chilled discussion of public health issues like alcohol, tobacco or junk food.
“That means we lose all these voices for health from the front line who’d say ‘hey, this is a problem we’re having in our paediatric wards, in our emergency departments, etc that we need to deal with, the Government needs to deal with with policies,'” he says.
Professor Swinburn says staff on the front line feel more frustrated if they feel their voices aren’t able to be heard.