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Senior doctors saddened by resignation of Waikato DHB CE


“Senior doctors saddened by resignation of Waikato DHB Chief Executive”

“Waikato senior doctors are saddened by the announcement that Waikato District Health Board Chief Executive Craig Climo will be resigning sometime later next year,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“We have had our share of tiffs with Mr Climo over the years going back to his time in South Canterbury but the more we have got to know him the more we have respected him.”

“His evolution over the years has been fascinating. In the beginning he appeared to be akin to a head-butting free marketer but the more he has learnt the more he has developed into an excellent chief executive. In my view he is among the best of the best DHB chief executives in the country.”

“Craig’s attributes include a strong principled value base (including honesty), strong respect for the work and commitment of health professionals, frankness and directness, plain language, and sensitivity about the complexities and nuances of the public health system. These attributes were greatly appreciated by Waikato senior doctors.”

“When you have a discussion with Mr Climo you have no difficulty understanding what he is saying. He would make an excellent surgeon because he doesn’t do ambiguity.”

“We are particularly grateful for the principled position Craig Climo took in settling a difficult national collective agreement negotiation in 2011. The DHBs national leadership had behaved disgracefully in creating an acrimonious environment through deliberately dishonest accusations about us. Craig was injected into the process, made a personal apology for this behaviour and contributed significantly to settling the negotiation.”

“Mr Climo is a complete anathema to the current direction of the public health system with its growing Stalinist-like control culture. This culture is stifling and perverting innovation and risks damaging the professionalism and goodwill of health professionals. Regrettably some chief executives and senior managers are buying into this culture. We need more Craig Climos who don’t buy into it.”

“I strongly disagree with Craig’s claim that he is reaching his ‘used by date.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. We need more chief executives like him, not less” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell



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