Southern District Health Board (Southern DHB) exists to support everyone across its district to live well, and access the right care when they need it, by delivering high quality, patient-centred and equitable health services to its diverse communities.

It is responsible for planning, funding and providing health and disability services to a population of over 315,000 located South of the Waitaki River.

Its catchment area encompasses Invercargill City, Queenstown – Lakes District, Gore, rural Southland, Clutha, Central Otago, Maniototo, Waitaki District and Dunedin City. This means Southern DHB serves the largest geographic region of all New Zealand's health boards.

To achieve this it works in partnership with Iwi, primary care and community providers, rural trust hospitals and education and research partners across the district.

Altogether, Southern DHB receives government funding of over $900 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).

The other half of its funding is applied through contracts with a range of primary and community health providers. This funding is distributed to providers such as primary health organisations (general practices), pharmacies, laboratories, aged residential care facilities, Pacific Islands and Māori health providers, non-governmental mental health services, rural hospitals and primary maternity facilities.

Southern DHB's statutory purpose is to:

  • improve, promote and protect the health of its 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.

Southern DHB has a staff of approximately 4,500.