Twelve Nelson Marlborough District Health Board jobs are expected to go in an $800,000 cost-cutting proposal.
The Public Service Association said a proposal was being considered by the country's 21 district health boards to move to a single centralised system to run operational finances, purchasing and goods supply.
The move would affect more than 300 jobs across the country, with each district health board impacted differently, the union said. The new work would be done by Auckland or Wellington-based organisations.
In Nelson 11 jobs will go, as well as one in Marlborough, if the changes go ahead.
Nelson Marlborough District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said yesterday a nationwide approach for ordering, delivering, storing and paying for hospital goods and services would achieve much needed savings for the board.
He said the vast majority of benefits came from the economy of scale when purchasing goods and services and having the tools to manage hospital stock at a national level to reduce wastage.
If accepted, this proposal would disestablish seven finance positions and five procurement and supply chain positions in the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, with staff able to apply for positions at a national level. Most of the board's financial functions and standard reporting would be done nationally by healthAlliance, with one new position created locally.
HealthAlliance is jointly owned by the Northland, Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau Health DHBs and the national shared services agency Health Benefits Ltd. It is a non-profit organisation.
Mr Fleming said benefits of up to $800,000 a year from the new proposal would be on top of the savings identified through the combined purchasing programme with South Island district health boards.
He said the board spent $45 million a year on goods procured through its local procurement and supply chain teams.
Hospital procurement would be done nationally by healthAlliance or Pharmac with one new position created in the Nelson Marlborough District Heath Board.
Under the proposal, supply chain services would be provided on-site by healthAlliance with eight Nelson Marlborough district health board staff in the warehouse, inwards goods and impresting area transferring to healthAlliance in 2016.
The proposed changes would take effect in February 2016 and the proposed date of change for procurement staff is September 2014.
Union national secretary Richard Wagstaff urged district health boards to ensure that workers affected by a new shared services plan can be retained or redeployed within their own organisation.
While the shared services plan made sense in terms of efficiencies and savings, Mr Wagstaff said there was no doubt the changes would be unsettling and disruptive for the staff involved.
"The biggest impact will be for staff in the smaller district health boards, where jobs are being disestablished or decisions will have to be made around relocating or redundancy.
"It clearly represents another blow for regional New Zealand as this is where the job loss will hit the hardest. Public sector jobs are important to regional economies and we are seeing more and more centralisation and rationalisation in the public sector which exposes the government's lack of a sound regional development strategy.
"Many of the jobs affected are well paid, highly skilled accounting and procurement roles."
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