The amount of money spent on external consultants by New Zealand’s 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) is substantial and poorly monitored, University of Otago research suggests. In research published in the international journal Health Policy, Research Fellow Dr Erin Penno and Professor Robin Gauld of the Otago Business School estimated that each year DHBs pay external consultants anywhere between $10m and $60m. The pair also found many boards were unable to easily identify the extent or purpose of this consultancy activity, or distinguish it from other contracting. Only six said they had formalised policies in place regarding engaging such consultants.
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