I have commented on Rob Campbell’s actions in previous Tuesday Club notes. A couple of weeks ago he gave a speech in Auckland about health being an emergency. In it he said:
I deliberately move on to the description “emergency” because the term “crisis” has become so worn in political discussion. It has come, perhaps led by the “climate crisis”, to carry with it a connotation of longevity, helplessness and inaction. Emergency seems to carry with it a higher call to action. That is what health services need now.
This is strong stuff and, having been corrected by a biblical scholar after describing Campbell as having had a “Paul falling off his horse on the way to Damascus” moment, I now know Paul wasn’t riding a horse. So, I will refrain from upsetting my biblical mates any further by saying he is just seeing things through a better lens. I don’t think any optometrists read the Tuesday Club.
In his normal brilliant analysis of the health reforms Ian Powell has analysed the Campbell speech https://otaihangasecondopinion.wordpress.com/2023/05/28/its-relational-rob-campbell-its-relational/
Ian wrote that he didn’t think Campbell was curious enough when he had the top seat in the health reforms. He wrote about what things were like down here.
Compare this with the relational networking culture of Canterbury DHB. The result was cooperative based innovation and productivity. Its internationally recognised integrated health pathways between community and hospital care could not have been achieved without this culture.
Curiosity should have led Campbell to look at why a province such as Canterbury with the fifth largest Māori population (more than the east coast of the North Island) had only 2.2 years live span difference compared with Pakeha when the rest of the country it was 7.7 years.
Further, why were people 30% less likely to be admitted into a hospital in Canterbury medically unwell?
The Canterbury province comprised both the Canterbury and South Canterbury DHBs. The former pioneered health pathways which proved an effective measure in constraining acute patient hospital demand. The latter DHB was the first of the remaining 19 DHBs to pick up and adapt these pathways to their own population needs.
Relational culture implemented through networking also led the South Island DHBs covering over one million New Zealanders to develop a shared health record (connecting primary care and hospital healthcare). In contrast, the rest of Aotearoa didn’t. Curiosity should have led Campbell to drill down and find out why.
There are people who read these notes who were part of destroying the CDHB. I hope they are reflecting on just what their decision cost all of us in the CDHB area.