Bay of Plenty District Health Board members have poured cold water on a suggestion that next year's DHB elections should be scrapped to await the outcome of a major Government-ordered review.
Waikato DHB member Mary Anne Gill has called for the Government to cancel the DHB local elections in September 2019.
She said the public health system needed to be overhauled and electing 140 new board members across the country next year was poorly timed.
The review of the Health and Disability Sector is due on January 31, 2020.
But Minister of Health David Clark said he had no intention of postponing or cancelling the elections.
That position was supported by several members of the Bay of Plenty DHB yesterday.
Chairwoman Sally Webb said Gill was making presumptions about the outcome of the review, which health board members knew nothing about.
"And as the minister said, DHBs need to be governed in the way they've been governed until any outcome of the review is implemented."
Deputy chair Ron Scott agreed.
"I don't think there's merit in [Gill's call]. Democracy is democracy, you can't be taking away the opportunity for the public to vote before the decision's been made. That sounds odd to me.
"If a review comes out with a final decision, it will probably take some time, some great period of time, to make the changes and it could easily be another full term in any case."
Board members Judy Turner and Marion Guy also questioned Gill's suggestion because it was too early to say what the review would encompass.
Gill, who confirmed she would not stand for the Waikato DHB again, said it did not make sense to hear the first draft of the health review by Heather Simpson in July next year, elect new board members two months later, induct them, then hold the first board meetings of the new term the same month Simpson would release her final review.
Asked about the timing of the review and the board elections, Clark has said DHB elections provide local accountability and are an important feature of the health system.
"It is important that our DHBs continue to serve their local communities and deliver quality health care as usual while the review of the Health and Disability Sector is conducted. Postponing elections would create unnecessary uncertainty."
- Additional reporting NZ Herald