Off with his head?

Wait until he finds my little surplies in the budget docs

A deceiving head of a ministry really should be offering to resign rather than waiting to be sacked.

Stacy Kirk explains:

The Health Minister hasn’t called for the head of his top official, but perhaps he should.

What’s incredible is that Director General of Health Chai Chuah didn’t offer it on a plate, the minute he had to tell Jonathan Coleman the individual DHB funding allocations the Government crowed about on Budget day were wrong.

Every. Single. One of them.

The Ministry of Health managed to botch up the amount of money DHBs would be getting to the tune of $38 million, and that’s incompetence, pure and simple. There were 14 DHBs that were overpaid that will have to give up some of their funds, while six were short-changed.

He should be gone already.

Mistakes happen, but this is pretty spectacular as it is actually a key budget announcement.

The Government provides the total funding for the health sector; it’s the ministry’s job to dish it out. The way they do it is through a population-based funding formula.

It’s a model they’ve used for 15 years, which takes into account DHB-population size as well as demographics like ethnicity and age, to ensure funding is distributed fairly across the country.

How on earth could they get it so wrong?

Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered the excuse that the error was “only on paper”, and DHBs had not actually received any funding yet.

But he knows health spending never stops, and those DHBs will have made plans to spend that much-needed money. Now 14 DHBs are scrambling to either scrap or limit services they intended offering, or claw the money from elsewhere in their budget.

Those that lose are the patients for whom those DHBs had identified a need to spend money on.

Incredibly, it’s firmly understood that among the options floated was to simply let the error slide – “the chips had fallen”, as it were.

But I’d wager by the level of Health Minister Jonathan Coleman’s fury, that would not have flown with him. There was an element of “you cock up, you wear it” in the nature of his public comments.

Precisely. Why is there ever no accountability from senior civil servants?

He should be sacked.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.