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Doctors Get No Joy In Saying ‘We Told You So’

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
MONDAY 20 OCTOBER 2003

“Senior Doctors Get No Joy In Saying ‘We Told You So’ Over Computer Botch-Up”

''Senior doctors are getting no joy in saying ‘we told you so’ over the computer botch-up at the Capital & Coast District Health Board,'' said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was commenting on the announcement that the DHB was to replace its controversial four year old Shared Medical Systems American computer package that was closely linked to former chief executive Leo Mercer and cost at least $26 million.

“Senior doctors warned at the time that this was an unwise expensive purchase without the necessary business diligence undertaken. There was no thorough independent investigation of whether information technology based on the quite different American health system could be effectively adapted to the New Zealand health system.”

“Capital & Coast was one of two DHBs that made this poor, fiscally irresponsible decision. The other DHB was Waikato which ditched Shared Medical Systems in 2000, about a year after its controversial decision to buy it.”

“The Capital & Coast DHB’s claim that Shared Medical Systems was being ditched because the DHB was now more than just a hospital based organisation is unconvincing. Former Chief Executive and computer salesperson Leo Mercer was attempting at the time to take over community provided health services and alleged that his computer system was well suited for this work.”

“This costly fiscal irresponsibility is an unfortunate example of health bosses ignoring the advice of senior doctors with taxpayers the biggest losers.”

“And they claim they can’t afford to provide doctors and nurses with competitive and fair conditions of employment,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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