12 May 2011

The NSW Government can get straight to work on restoring local decision making, after legislation to create Local Health Districts was passed through Parliament, Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George said today.

The Health Services Amendment (Local Health Districts and Boards) Bill 2011 was passed through both houses of Parliament with no amendments.

The key changes will provide for Local Health Districts and District Health Boards in lieu of the 15 geographic-based Local Health Networks and their governing councils.

Mr George said it was positive that even the NSW Opposition recognised the need for these important changes.

“I’m delighted that NSW Labor has acknowledged its system of overcentralisation and added layers of bureaucracy was a failure and now supports the Government’s moves to implement a flatter more efficient management structure,” said Mr George.

“Our plan paves the way for giving effect to one of our key election promises, that is, the devolution of responsibility and accountability in the health system,” he said.

“It’s time we re-engage demoralised medical professionals and put patients back at the centre of every decision.

The Minister for Health will be seeking advice from the Chairs of Boards to ensure that they have the appropriate mix of skills and expertise to fill out board positions.

It is not envisaged a massive change in Board membership. Existing members will not have to reapply for appointment to the reconstituted Boards.

“Prior to the election the NSW Liberals & Nationals were loud and clear in our plans to restore local decision making in the running of the state’s health services.

“I am delighted that these important changes have passed through parliament so quickly; the NSW Government can immediately get to work on implementing the important changes.

“This is a huge win for local clinicians and local communities across NSW and I look forward to the benefits this exciting reform agenda will bring,” said Mr George.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.