Ousted Health NZ chair Rob Campbell hits out at 'half-baked' health reforms

Sacked Te Whatu Ora chair Rob Campbell has taken another swipe at the organisation he used to lead, saying it is holding on to bad habits from the old system.

Campbell hit out with a series of criticisms in a speech tonight, a month after he was fired for making political comments.

The speech, which was sent to RNZ, was delivered to the Fabian Society in Wellington on Monday night.

In it, Campbell said the reform that replaced district health boards with Te Whatu Ora had not made enough change.

"It may have looked ok on a whiteboard but in practice it looked like the half-baked cake it was," he said.

"If there was any kind of consumer guarantee in the contracts for advice from the consultants involved, you would be calling on it."

Not enough was done to make sure local people had a voice when DHBs were scrapped, he said

The reforms were too focused on the broader public service and not on the real needs of clinical and care providers and the wider population.

They kept too many of the old management roles - as well as some ineffective managers, he said.

"The same people in the same or essentially similar roles leading change showed an inadequate appreciation of the scale and depth of change required," he said.

Meanwhile, there was not enough consultation with unions and professional organisations on creating the reforms and getting them up and running, Campbell said.

Despite a focus on achieving equity in health outcomes for Māori, the reform only took a limited account of Māori health and world views and imposed structures on Māori, he said.

Campbell conceded that under his watch the board should have done more to demand change.

He believed the government and Te Whatu Ora could still work together to fix the problems.

Te Whatu Ora was approached for comment but at the time of publishing had yet to respond.