About Southern DHB
Our role as a District Health Board

Southern District Health Board (Southern DHB) was formed on 1 May 2010 and was created as the result of the merger of Southland and Otago DHBs.

Southern DHB is the Government-funded organisation responsible for most publicly funded primary health and hospital services in the Southland and Otago regions of New Zealand. 

The former Southland DHB and Otago DHB were one of 21 district health boards that were established nationally on January 1, 2001 under the NZ Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (NZPHD). They are the first to have merged to form a new entity.

Southern DHB has a staff of approximately 4,500 and, following the replacement of the Board made up of publicly elected and government appointed members, in June 2015, is currently governed by a Commissioner and two deputy Commissioners appointed by her. The Commissioner is accountable to the Minister of Health and holds office until the persons elected at the next election of members of Boards, scheduled for 2019, take office as Board members.

As a DHB, we are responsible for planning, funding and providing health and disability services to a population of over 315,000 located South of the Waitaki River. Our catchment area encompasses Invercargill City, Queenstown - Lakes District, Gore, rural Southland, Clutha, Central Otago, Maniototo, Waitaki District and Dunedin City.

We receive government funding of over $800 million per annum, of which approximately half is applied to traditional hospital and mental health services delivered from Southland Hospital (Invercargill), Lakes District Hospital (Queenstown), Dunedin Hospital (Dunedin) and Wakari Hospital (Dunedin). These services are managed and delivered through our own facilities and staff, collectively known as the 'Provider Arm'.

The other half of our funding is applied through contracts with a range of primary and community health providers. This funding is distributed and monitored by our 'Planning and Funding Team' to providers such as Primary Health Organisations (general practices), pharmacies, laboratories, aged residential care facilities, Pacific Islands and Maori Health providers, non-governmental mental health services, rural hospitals and primary maternity facilities.

Our statutory purpose is to:

  • improve, promote and protect the health of our population

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

  • reduce health outcome disparities

  • manage national strategies and implementation plans

  • develop and implement strategies for the specific health needs of our local population.

For further information and frequently asked questions about District Health Boards, please see the Ministry of Health's website.

 

Southern DHB Commissioner Team: from left, Deputy Commissioner Richard Thomson; Commissioner Kathy Grant; Deputy Commissioner Graham Combie

commissioner team 1