I’m sorry I haven’t a clue; parody in action

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue is a famous BBC radio and television show, billed as the antidote to panel games and launched in 1972. A parody of panel shows, it features two teams of two comedians each being given “silly things to do” by a compere. ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’ a parody adaptableContinue reading “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue; parody in action”

Baldrick’s ‘cunning plan’: A health restructuring transition unit without a transition plan

On 21 April 2021 Minister of Health Andrew Little announced a major restructuring of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system involving three main changes to take effect on 1 July 2022. Better understanding the third of these changes is helped by drawing upon Baldrick of the Blackadder television comedy. The first two changes are commendable; the establishment ofContinue reading “Baldrick’s ‘cunning plan’: A health restructuring transition unit without a transition plan”

An unresponsive Prime Minister and Health Minister to a best endeavour

I have expressed my concerns in these postings and other media outlets about the Government’s decision, without mandate or engagement with the health sector, to abolish district health boards (DHBs) in Aotearoa New Zealand’s public health system (thereby abandoning the longstanding democratic principle of subsidiarity between central and local government). I have also expressed concernContinue reading “An unresponsive Prime Minister and Health Minister to a best endeavour”

Bye-bye subsidiarity; hello democratic deficit

Every piece of parliamentary legislation has a ‘purpose’ clause describing the legal means or effect of the legislation, usually clause 3 which communicates its intent. The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill setting up the foundations of the New Zealand (Aotearoa) health system from 1 July is no exception. The Bill is now at the select committeeContinue reading “Bye-bye subsidiarity; hello democratic deficit”

Strategic Covid-19 direction needed, not traffic lights red herrings

The debate over whether New Zealand’s Covid-19 ‘traffic lights’ system should be lowered from ‘red’ to ‘orange’ misses the point. In short, it is a red herring. The traffic light system is less about protecting the public and more about branding. The traffic lights system was not recommended by experts except as a fine-tuning ofContinue reading “Strategic Covid-19 direction needed, not traffic lights red herrings”

More than egg running down face; it’s an entire poultry farm’s yolk

What does a Treasury ‘Investor Confidence Review’ (ICR) and a poultry farm have in common? Nothing really apart from an exceptional climatic event – the central government bureaucratic coup against the leadership of Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) in 2020. The circumstances of this coup have been extensively covered by my three 2021 Democracy ProjectContinue reading “More than egg running down face; it’s an entire poultry farm’s yolk”

What makes good public health sense also makes good sense for other things

As my ‘love affair’ with New Zealand Aotearoa’s public health system grew over many years I learnt to pick up on a few soundbites that aptly summarised it. One was that if something made good clinical sense it would also make good financial sense. With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) in March 2020Continue reading “What makes good public health sense also makes good sense for other things”

More harmful than flesh-eating bugs

In 2003 Dr Peter Roberts published a book titled Snakes and Ladders: The Pursuit of a Safety Culture in New Zealand Public Hospitals. At the time Dr Roberts; an intensivist and physician, was completing his term as President of the Association of Salaried Specialists. His focus was on enhancing human performance to establish a safetyContinue reading “More harmful than flesh-eating bugs”

Frailty, dependency and health systems

One of the things I enjoyed most when Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) was its annual conference, A feature was the enrichment provided by many engaging guest speakers on a wide range of pertinent subjects. At the forefront of these presentations was one on frailty; of itself not a rivetingContinue reading “Frailty, dependency and health systems”

Omicron predictions for 2022

My ‘kingdom’ for an informed prediction We all engage in predictions. Put simply they are what someone thinks will happen in the future. But a robust prediction is more than an opinion; it is an informed opinion. This is where epidemiologists come in. They are medical specialists in epidemiology which is the study (scientific, systematic,Continue reading “Omicron predictions for 2022”