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“praise for canterbury dhb chief executive”

“praise for canterbury dhb chief executive”

“It is unusual for us to praise the performance of health managers but the positive performance of Jean O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of Canterbury District Health Board, deserves public recognition,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Ms O’Callaghan inherited a conflict-ridden mess in Canterbury when she was appointed. The managerial style was generally uncooperative and adversarial with a massive gap between managers and senior doctors as well as other health professionals. Despite initial widespread skepticism, many senior doctors now believe that she is making good progress even though there is more work to be done.”

“Changes in senior management and the creation of a clinical board with elected representation are important parts of this progress but more important is the more positive and engaging leadership style that she has encouraged.”

“There are issues that senior doctors will continue to disagree with management over but at least they can openly disagree and debate without declaring war on each other or recriminations. The Board should consider applying their Chief Executive’s operating style to their own meetings and end the ridiculous media ban on board members. The board should learn that the best way to avoid unnecessary controversy and negative publicity is to allow people to speak out. The more they are allowed to speak out, the less likely they will.”

“Other managers, however, should not get too excited about our praise for Jean O’Callaghan’s performance. It is not a habit forming experience,” concluded Mr Powell.

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