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Southern Health Boss Out of Order for Attacks on Senior Docs

Southern Health Boss Out of Order for Attacks on Senior Doctors

"Southern District Health Board boss Richard Thomson is out of order for his unprincipled and unfair attack on senior doctors," said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the DHB board member's claim that senior doctors in both Dunedin and Invercargill were dragging their heels following the merger of the Otago and Southland DHBs into the new Southern DHB.

"The truth of the matter is that this merger was a forced shot-gun marriage by health bosses who failed to engage their health professional workforce over its wisdom and conned the Health Minister over its supposed benefits. It was a classic example of bureaucratic decision-making and disregarding health professional engagement."

"The forced merger ignored the lack of senior doctor workforce capacity that is necessary to provide services over such a large geographic area. Prior to the merger there were serious hospital specialist shortages in both Southland (especially) and Otago. The effect of the merger was to further stretch this already over-stretched workforce."

"Senior doctors in both Otago and Southland are working their butts off to provide accessible quality services for patients. They are holding services together on the smell of an oily rag. The contribution of their health bosses has been to increase the stretch of the rag and worsen the pong."

"You reap what you sow Mr Thomson. Don't blame others for the folly of you and your top table mates," concluded Mr Powell.

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