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”

Sinister Health Politics drop National in the Bo[a]g

Pithy observations that contain a general truth (aphorism) are wonderful and few more so than Hanlon’s razor principle. It is attributed to Robert J Scranton of Scranton, Pennsylvania, who submitted it for publication in a book of jokes related to Murphy’s Law (things that can go wrong will go wrong). Hanlon’s razor is that oneContinue reading “Sinister Health Politics drop National in the Bo[a]g”

Beware Babylon tale

I recall in the early years of my employment as Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, a remarkably astute specialist (and also Chair of the NZ Medical Association at the time), Dr Alister Scott, telling me that specialists had three main fears – exams, competition and hospital car parks (my first everContinue reading “Beware Babylon tale”

IT’S TIME DAVID

The 6th of April this year was a lonely day for me. I defended (with qualifications) Minister of Health David Clark on Radio New Zealand (Morning Report – https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018741932/coronavirus-former-health-union-leader-backs-david-clark-s-demotion). The issue was the revelation of a second major embarrassing personal breach of the Covid-19 Level 4 shutdown restrictions. For a citizen to do this twice wouldContinue reading “IT’S TIME DAVID”