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Canterbury Health Bosses Foolish




“Canterbury District Health Board bosses are being foolish over their approach to restructuring and have engaged in silly unnecessary hype with misleading claims over clinical leadership,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Management claims that they are increasing clinical involvement and given doctors and nurses more authority and influence. But their approach is bureaucratic and top down. They failed to consult at all with the elected representatives of doctors and nurses over the development of their plan. The contradiction between their claim and the reality of virtual secrecy is overwhelming.”

They have exaggerated the importance of their restructuring by misleadingly claiming that it is the first in New Zealand. This is silly unnecessary and untrue hype. What they propose is similar in principle to many other district health boards. It is typically mainstream and shows just how extreme Canterbury has been for many years.”

“If they were really being progressive and forward-thinking they would be promoting clinical democracy in which doctors and nurses in leadership positions were elected by their colleagues. But the structure appears to still be based on top down control. Despite the claim of consultation they have already started laying off staff.”

“There is also a serious suggestion that the proposed system might be used to shift risk and blame for under-funding onto doctors and nurses.”

“There may still be merit in the intent of the restructuring but unfortunately it has been undermined by poor execution and exaggerated rhetoric,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell

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