A senior Wellington doctor says the Government's health reforms will be "hopeless" if the same managers currently in charge of hospitals take jobs at Health NZ.
The doctor, who works at Capital & Coast DHB, agreed to speak to the Herald on the condition of anonymity.
They were concerned senior managers could wash their hands of any accountability for the state of the region's hospitals and then move into jobs at the new national entity.
"Health NZ needs to have new people, they need to have people who question and challenge the system with data," the doctor said.
"We don't want people who are happy with the status quo, we don't want people who sympathise and empathise with us without doing anything about it."
Otherwise, the health reforms would be hopeless, the doctor said.
As of July 1, the country's 20 DHBs will no longer exist and one national entity will take over.
Health NZ will operate four regional offices and be responsible for the planning and commissioning of hospital, primary, and community health services.
A Health NZ spokesperson said permanent roles in the organisation will be "robustly and transparently" recruited.
In the meantime, a "strong" interim structure was in place ahead of the formal launch of the new entity and the Māori Health Authority next week, the spokesperson said.
"Many of the committed and hardworking professionals involved in interim roles in the new entity are already well known in the Health Sector."
The purpose of interim roles was to keep the health sector system running smoothly, they said.
Hutt Valley DHB and Capital & Coast DHB chief medical officer John Tait said it would be inappropriate to comment on or speculate about the employment of staff, whether that was with Health NZ or other opportunities.
"However our ongoing and sustained efforts to improve support for patients and staff will continue following the transition to Health New Zealand."
Wellington Regional Hospital is wrestling with unprecedented staff absences, high vacancy levels, and capacity issues to the point that average hospital occupancy hit 104 per cent on June 1.
This week the two DHBs in the region decided to pause non-urgent care, leaving hundreds waiting for surgery.
But those needing non-deferrable care are also having to wait. The waiting list for cardiac surgery is full and private capacity is maxed out.
Tait acknowledged issues like these have added considerable pressure on services and staff.
"We continue to meet with staff to examine and understand these pressures, and to work with them to examine and consider possible solutions."
Tait said he would be happy to meet with the Wellington doctor to discuss and understand their concerns.
The doctor said senior management only wanted people who didn't ask for extra resources and wouldn't rock the boat.
"That is the fundamental policy on which everything runs."
Tait said no such policy or approach was in place across the two DHBs.
"Like other DHBs we are continually looking at how we can improve practices and processes to improve health and wellbeing of our staff, and health outcomes and support for the communities we service."
The doctor said they had given up lobbying senior management for more resources and now just tried to clock on and off from shifts.
"There is no other way to survive in this environment- otherwise you'll end up with some sort of health issue."
They described the current situation as "faceless" with no accountability.