Key responsibilities of DHBs
Planning and funding health & disability services | Providing health & disability services
Board & committees: Governing the DHB

Planning and funding health and disability services

New Zealand DHBs have three key responsibilities. The first is planning and purchasing health and disability services. In the Whanganui region, the WDHB’s Service and Business Planning Division is responsible for this.

The WDHB’s Service & Business Planning Division is responsible for planning and purchasing health services and monitoring contracts valued at around $200 million per annum.

Services funded
The services we fund are as follows:

  • Older People services
  • Maori Health services
  • Mental Health and Addiction services
  • Personal Health services
  • Primary Health Care services
  • Secondary and Tertiary Hospital Health services.

With the WDHB’s revenue, the Service and Business Planning Division is also responsible for ensuring the WDHB population has access to specialist services which are not delivered within the district, and managing and monitoring the flow of funds for these out-of-district services.

While these responsibilities are primarily for the WDHB area, it also has responsibilities for specific national or regional contracts.

We also have a joint responsibility, along with five other DHBs in the Central Region, to develop and maintain a strong regional health structure.

The health needs and priorities of our district drive local planning and purchasing initiatives and as such, a Health Needs Assessment (HNA) of the Whanganui district is regularly undertaken.

The services we purchase are in line with the national Service Coverage Schedule. This schedule describes the minimum range of health and disability support services a DHB must provide for its population. The Service Coverage Schedule is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and is a national standard. It includes Maori health, mental health, personal health (primary, secondary and limited tertiary), public health and disability support services.

Our Service & Business Planning Division is also responsible for providing the hospital’s clinical managers with business management support, in partnership with our corporate services.

Providing health and disability services

Our second key responsibility is the provision of health and disability services, through publicly-owned hospitals.

Whanganui Hospital provides hospital and disability support services to the value of around $100m per annum. This equates to approximately half of the total funding received by the WDHB each year. The hospital also provides the Regional Forensic Mental Health Service, on behalf of the other Central Region DHBs.

Board and committees: Governing the DHB

The third key responsibility for the WDHB is governing the organisation.

Our board is responsible for governing the organisation. It has established committees, standing orders, and procedures to enable it to carry out its role.

Whanganui DHB's Community & Public Health Advisory Committee (CPHAC), Disability Support Advisory Committee (DSAC) and Hospital Advisory Committee (HAC) were combined in early 2016 to create the WDHB's Combined Statutory Advisory Committee.

The Combined Statutory Advisory Committee now has the responsibilities of the committees it replaced as follows:

  • CPHAC is responsible for advising on the needs of the population of the district and any factors it believes may adversely affect the health status of the population. The committee also gives advice on priorities for use of the funding provided by the crown.
  • DSAC is responsible for advising on the disability support needs of the population of the district. It also provides advise to the board on priorities for use of the disability support funding provided.
  • HAC monitors the financial and operational performance of Whanganui Hospital and related services. The committee also assesses strategic issues relating to provision of hospital services.

Other committees are established, as required, on an ad hoc basis.

The Board acknowledges the importance of working with Iwi to advance Māori health priorities and health gain. Hauora A Iwi, the Iwi Relationship Board, meets regularly with the DHB Board and members of Hauora A Iwi sit on the CPHAC and HAC statutory committees.

How does the board work?
Meetings of the board and its three statutory committees are open to the public. Members of the public may seek to speak to the board and its statutory committees.

Board and committee membership
The boards which govern DHBs are elected/appointed for a three-year term. The last DHB elections took place in October 2010. Click here for more information about DHB elections.

Our board has 11 members, seven elected by the public and four appointed by the Minister of Health. In addition, up to three external (ie non-board members) are appointed by the board's statutory committees.

Click here to see the members of the Whanganui District Health Board