What We Do

Southern DHB is responsible for publicly funded primary, community and hospital health services in the Southern DHB catchment area of Otago and Southland in New Zealand.

As a DHB, we plan, fund and  provide health and disability services to the Southland and Otago populations by:

  • planning for the health needs of the Otago and Southland populations based on analysis of our population's health status

  • funding a range of health providers to deliver services that will meet the identified health needs of our population

  • providing hospital and mental health services from our own DHB facilities (Southland Hospital, Lakes District Hospital, Dunedin Hospital and Wakari Hospital)

Our purpose is to improve, promote and protect the health of our Otago and Southland populations by:

  • promoting effective care and support for people in need of personal health or disability services

  • reducing health outcome disparities

  • managing national strategies and implementation plans

  • developing and implementing strategies for the specific health needs of our local population. 

Governance Arm: 

The Board has primary responsibility for developing policy and strategy, and the overall governance of the Provider and Funder Arms. Three statutory committees support the Board:

The Board also has the following committees:

  • Audit, Finance and Risk Management (AFRM) Committee

  • Iwi Governance Committee

Funding Arm:

The Planning and Funding arm is primarily responsible for determining health need, to prioritise, to allocate funds and to contract with service providers to achieve the best possible health outcomes for the Otago and Southland populations. The Planning and Funding team also manages the implementation of national and local health strategies.

  • About 50% of DHB funding is applied to traditional hospital and mental health services

  • About 50% of DHB funding is distributed to a range of community-based health services, including the rural hospitals based in Gore, Clutha, Waitaki and Central Otago, dental practices, pharmacies, Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) and rest homes, etc.

Provider Arm:

Southern DHB currently has two provider arms (the structures which existed under the former Southland and Otago DHBs. The provider arms are primarily responsible for managing hospital, mental health and rehabilitation services based at Southland Hospital in Invercargill, Lakes District Hospital (LDH) in Queenstown and Wakari and Dunedin Hospitals in Dunedin.

Plans are underway to create a single provider arm for the Southern DHB. This restructure is vital to support the progression of a clinical services network across the region, which will eventually lead to clinical services being shared across Otago and Southland.