Shut up or clock out – the Carlisle way of getting value for money from public servants

January 30, 2011

If she must photocopy her bum, she should sign out first (and pay for the power and materials consumed).

Alf will be approaching our Minister of State Services, the admirable Tony Ryall, to suggest he contact the Carlisle City Council where he is bound to pick up a few bloody good tips that will improve public-service productivity.

Applying the advice and getting a better deal for taxpayers won’t be popular, mind you.

The council is copping a bit of flak from whinging staff over some of its rules, but dammit, public money is at stake.

And so – for example – it has ordered employees to clock out if they want to talk about the weather, holidays or babies.

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Getting cancer is bad enough but it’s worse if you happen to live in the central North Island

January 3, 2011

So my advice to you, young man, is to persuade your parents to stay here in Zimbabwe and not emigrate to Palmerston North.

Alf is braced for a hard time, next time he turns up at the Eketahuna Club.

He has been badly let down by his colleague, Tony Ryall, our Minister of Health.

Ryall declined to be questioned on Radio NZ’s Summer Report this morning about a shortage of oncologists and the axing of chemotherapy for some patients by the central North Island cancer treatment service.

Under the new rules, MidCentral District Health Board no longer will accept referrals for patients who are less likely to benefit from the treatments.

Less likely to benefit?

Who will make this life-or-death decision?

Oh, yes. Doctors.

This is deeply disturbing.

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Without a good old-fashioned blood-letting at the Ministry of Health, how will it get better?

December 18, 2010

But if there are no bits left over, won't the restructuring be a waste of time?

Dunno what exactly is going at the Ministry of Health.

It certainly doesn’t look like a blood-letting.

But the Public Service Association is bleating that “a substantial number of redundancies” may result from the latest restructuring.

According to Radio New Zealand –

Uncertainty surrounds the future of many jobs at the ministry, which is introducing a new policy advice structure in February.

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Ministry’s grim report on the quality of drinking water should turn us towards health-enhancing liquor

October 27, 2010

Ducks crap in it and fish fornicate in it.

Alf is delighted that a Ministry of Health survey upholds the prudence of his practice of drinking nothing that has not been (a) boiled or (b) bottled as booze.

His liquid intake essentially comes from lots of coffee and plenty of good liquor.

He has aired the health benefits of booze in a previous post.

Today he is pleased to pass on the gist of a report which gives umpteen good reasons for steering clear of water as a thirst quencher.

We just don’t know where it has been.

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A modest MP’s very private role in events that led to Mark Jacobs quitting the race for a DHB seat

September 28, 2010

Having chalked up another victory, Alf reckons he should be a member of the Commonwealth Games team in New Delhi.

In fact he is in such damned good form as a modest man of influence, he is confident he has a very good chance of winning gold in the political persuasion event (although he would have an even better chance in the whisky drinking competition).

His victory is the announcement by a top Health Ministry official that he has pulled out of the race for election to Wellington’s district health board.

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Forget about the conflict of interest, Tony – here’s your chance to chop out the spare mandarins

September 25, 2010

Bugger ... it looks suspiciously like a conflict of interest!

Alf has written to Health Minister Tony Ryall to draw attention to a money-saving opportunity.

Tony is dead keen to grab money-saving opportunities, and to thin down his ministry and to make district health boards look for savings too by constraining their budgets.

Yeah, it’s a bit like tummy-tuck surgery except it has the unfortunate consequence of leaving the public with reduced health services.

But dammit, we have a fiscal crisis on our hands.

Anyway, the cost-saving idea identified by Alf simply requires no more than a bit of redundancy among the ministry mandarins.

A glaring example of a candidate for redundancy is the Health Ministry official who says he will not resign if elected to Wellington’s district health board, because he believes he can do both jobs at once.

And no doubt he can knock off a couple of cryptic crosswords while singing “Yankee Doodle” in Urdu at the same time.

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Precious health money goes to Taranaki Maori to work out what whanau ora means

September 16, 2010

Alf is bemused by a report of a pioneering Maori health group which “is taking another step into uncharted territory”.

And whose money is being spent on this pioneering venture?

Ours. They will be given some of the stuff the IRD takes out of all our incomes.

This Tui Ora outfit is the governing body for 13 Taranaki Maori-focused health groups.

According to Stuff, it launched a three-year project to design and develop a whanau ora-driven health service yesterday.

Tui Ora was among 31 Maori health, disability and social service providers granted contracts through Te Ao Auahatanga Hauora Maori, the Maori Health Innovation Fund, and will share in $20 million of Government funding.

So how will this money be spent?

Not on health services, in the first instance, but on consultations.

This means bloody hui, in Alf’s experience of these things. Lots of hui.

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