Seeds of the Canterbury health crisis

Last week’s sudden and dramatic resignation of David Meates, the respected Chief Executive of Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), was not simply about an individual refusing to accept political pressure to, in effect, reduce the accessibility and quality of patient services and the extra stress this would put on an already exhausted and frustrated healthContinue reading “Seeds of the Canterbury health crisis”

When the wrong thing to do is the right thing to do

Last December, in my final days as Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), I got into a public scrap with Southern District Health Board (SDHB) Chief Executive Chris Fleming. He and I have had a long association beginning when he was in senior management at Counties Manukau. It increased with hisContinue reading “When the wrong thing to do is the right thing to do”

New task for Prime Minister Ardern

I have a proposal for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to consider. It is a task which I believe she is exceptionally well qualified to perform given her internationally recognised standout performance in leading to New Zealand achieving the elimination of community transmission of Covid-19. But, to avoid any ambiguity, this new task would be anContinue reading “New task for Prime Minister Ardern”

Patient confidentiality scandal report reveals serious Health Ministry capability weakness

The scandal involving the leaking of confidential Covid-19 patient information by National Party players has left a trial of destruction. National Party ‘grandee’ of sorts Michelle Boag has departed in disgrace and her also disgraced gullible MP Hamish Walker is departing Parliament. But there was more carnage to follow. Todd Muller was an inadvertent targetContinue reading “Patient confidentiality scandal report reveals serious Health Ministry capability weakness”

The political marginalisation of Ashley Bloomfield

For good reason Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield would have been on a high after last weekend. He was selected to play for a ‘Centurions’ team against a parliamentarian rugby team. Both teams had some ex-All Blacks, his team won, and he scored a winning try. Life can be better than this but notContinue reading “The political marginalisation of Ashley Bloomfield”

Smoke and mirrors in Budget for public health system?

Is the New Zealand Government’s Budget for the 1 July 2020-30 June 2021 financial year smoke and mirrors for the funding of the public health system or is it just a misunderstanding? First impressions were encouraging. Total funding for the 20 district health boards for community and hospital care increased to $15,274 million from $13,980 millionContinue reading “Smoke and mirrors in Budget for public health system?”

Health bosses continue to neglect medical specialist shortages in New Zealand

Since 2016 the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has been surveying and publishing the extent of specialist shortages in district health boards whose responsibilities include public hospitals. These surveys reveal a shocking national shortage of around 24% (https://www.asms.org.nz/news/asms-news/2020/07/15/crunching-the-numbers-on-staffing-shortages/) and the overall response of DHBs, Ministry of Health and health ministers has been one ofContinue reading “Health bosses continue to neglect medical specialist shortages in New Zealand”

National Party’s Shane Reti gets it right over slashing district health boards

National Party’s new health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti and Whangarei MP has hit the nail on the head when interviewed by Newstalk ZB this Thursday morning. When asked whether he supported the recommendation of the Heather Simpson led review of New Zealand’s health and disability system to slash the number of district health boards fromContinue reading “National Party’s Shane Reti gets it right over slashing district health boards”

Was the Woodhouse patient confidentiality breach complicity the tipping point for Muller’s resignation?

This Tuesday morning’s shock resignation of Todd Muller after only 53 days as leader of the National Party following his successful but close coup against former leader Simon Bridges has got New Zealand’s pundits going. Most of his parliamentary caucus appear not to have known until the announcement. A wit this morning texted Radio NewContinue reading “Was the Woodhouse patient confidentiality breach complicity the tipping point for Muller’s resignation?”

Boag’s bog: sinister politics reveal gaping ethical abyss

In an earlier issue of Second Opinion on 30 June I wrote that it was time for David Clark to stand down as Minister of Health because of his successive brain-fades and lack of political insight culminating in his failure to comprehend ministerial responsibility, particularly during a pandemic crisis (https://otaihangasecondopinion.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/its-time-david/). While not cause and effect,Continue reading “Boag’s bog: sinister politics reveal gaping ethical abyss”