Clusters out in health restructure

THERE is to be a major restructure of the health system which NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner hopes will ensure genuine local responsibility, local decision-making and accountability by local health districts, their boards and clinicians.

“It is about getting more administrators and managers onto the frontline to support our health workforce and deliver better patient care,” Mrs Skinner said.

Mrs Skinner says the restructure will remove a middle layer of management which will allow resources to be deployed to support frontline health care.

“The new structure will provide greater transparency and accountability, duplication of tasks will be stopped, and there will be greater clarity of roles and responsibilities,” she said.

The restructure includes the abolition of about 200 middle-layer management positions in what was formerly known as the ‘clusters’ and devolving most of the resources remaining in the clusters to the local health districts.

Clusters were established in 2010 by the former Labor Government and controlled the smaller local health districts.

Chairman of the Mid North Coast Local Health District Board, Warren Grimshaw, welcomed the minister’s press release.

“It confirms the minister’s desire to ensure the effective operation of local health services,” he said.

“The statement confirms the focus on boards for the delivery of health services for the Mid North Coast and with the appropriate accountabilities.”

Health Services Union NSW divisional secretary Gerard Hayes said the union did not support the abolition of the clusters.

“We will be seeking justification for any positions that are deleted,” he said.

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