Senior doctors applaud new health minister
TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2008
“Senior doctors applaud new health minister for reinstating right of elected doctors on medical council”
"Senior doctors applaud the decision of new Health Minister Tony Ryall for announcing after only 50 hours in the job his decision to reinstate the right of the medical profession to elect doctors to the Medical Council," said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Ryall announced his decision today at the Annual Conference of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists in his first public address as Health Minister to issue regulations to require mandatory elections for part of the Medical Council which is responsible for the regulation of doctors.
"This right of election was taken away under the former Labour led government although former Health Minister David Cunliffe saw the foolishness of this decision and mid this year proposed to cabinet for the right to be reinstated. Unfortunately he was rolled by his cabinet colleagues."
"We are delighted that Mr Ryall has picked up where Mr Cunliffe left off. The current system creates the risk of the Medical Council coming under political control which is potentially damaging for the safety of the public. Having doctors elected because of the respect and confidence of the medical profession also helps ensure that the Medical Council does not get out of touch with the practical experience of providing patient care."
"In his first 50 hours Mr Ryall has made a very important decision that enhances patient safety, enhances the confidence of the medical profession in the system that regulates them, and does not cost any money. Good decision-making does not always require a price tag," concluded Mr Powell.