News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Health Minister’s Mixed Record; A Tale Of Two Ministers

Attention: Health Reporter

Media Statement For Immediate Release,

wednesday 27 February 2014
“Health Minister’s Mixed Record; A Tale Of Two Health Ministers - Good To Disappointing”

“Tony Ryall’s performance as Health Minister has been mixed. He got off to a very good start but after a couple of years his performance became increasingly disappointing,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to Mr Ryall’s announcement that he would not stand for re-election later this year.

“In his first two years Mr Ryall got off to an excellent start with some good initiatives including:

• Restoring the right of doctors to elect some of the doctors on their registration body, the Medical Council.
• Recognising the vulnerability of the public hospital specialist workforce describing it as a crisis and his number one priority to fix.
• A very good policy statement on clinical leadership in district health boards (In Good Hands).
• Strengthening the ability of the Health Ministry to support and better coordinate fragmented district health boards through the creation of its National Health Board.”

“Particularly since 2011, however, there has been a reversal for the worse. This includes:

• Abandoning his commitment to address the vulnerability of the hospital specialist workforce by knowingly using dodgy misleading data. This U-turn led to him turning a blind eye to public hospitals struggling to function under entrenched specialist shortages.
• Increasingly financially squeezing public hospitals while increasing the demands on what they are required to do.
• Excessive political micro-management, including threatened financial penalties, in order to achieve his targets. This is creating a punitive culture in public hospitals which inhibits innovation and stresses an overworked workforce.
• The shared objective of improved clinical leadership in district health boards has suffered a big set-back.”

“Overall there has been a failure to invest in the health workforce in public hospitals, including senior doctors, which is critical for improving quality of patient care, patient safety and cost effectiveness.”

“At the same time Mr Ryall needs to provide a satisfactory explanation over while he asked for the advice of the head of a private health company over who should be the chair of the Southern DHB when that company and the DHB were in a huge financial dispute over how $5-6 million given to the private company was spent. This obvious conflict of interest should have had flashing alarm lights all over it.”

“It feels like we have had a tale of two health ministers,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell



© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news