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 is governed by a Board made up of both publicly elected and government appointed members. The Board is accountable to the Minister of Health.

As a DHB, we are responsible for planning, funding and providing health and disability services to a population of over 304,268 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.
 

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. 
     
Summary of relevant work: 

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 Island 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.