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Health Workforce Advisory Committee Members Named

Health Minister Annette King has named the ten members of the Health Workforce Advisory Committee, a new statutory body that will advise the Government on key health workforce issues and strategies.

The committee formally came into effect when the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill was passed last December.

Mrs King said the committee would be chaired by Professor Andrew Hornblow, dean of the Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago.

"I am delighted a person of his distinction has agreed to chair this most important committee," Mrs King said. "And I am even more delighted by the high calibre of the committee members he will have working with him."

The other members are: Deputy chair, Karen Guilliland (national director, New Zealand College of Midwives), Dr Ralph Wiles (chairman, Royal NZ College of General Practitioners), Dr Clive Ross, dental practitioner, chairman of Oral Health Forum 2000), Dr Erihana Ryan, psychiatrist (director of area mental health services for Healthlink South since 1996), Mike Gourley, self-employed, Wellington (member, NZ Disability Strategy sector reference group, member Vocational Services Advisory group), Dr George Salmond, consultant (former Director-General of Health), Jane Lawless, Hamilton (Clinical Nurse Leader Emergency Department, Waikato Hospital), Margaret Southwick, Porirua (director, Pacific Islands Health Research Centre Whitireia Community Polytechnic, senior lecturer, Dept of Nursing and Midwifery, Victoria University), Ian Wilson, Palmerston North, company director (chair, MidCentral DHB, chair Waikato DHB).

"There have not been many health committees established with such a notable membership," Mrs King said. "That is entirely appropriate given the crucial importance of the work the committee will be doing.

"As New Zealanders well know, we have been through a decade where little or no priority has been given to workforce planning. The result is that we have shortages wherever we look, and we cannot achieve what we want from our public health system without building our workforce numbers.

"This committee will provide me with advice on national goals for the health workforce, and will recommend strategies to develop an appropriate workforce capacity.

"This committee knows the extent of the problems we face. It will face the future realistically, not guided by that deluded belief of the 1990s that there was no need to plan because the market would provide solutions.

"The Government is committed to developing a strong and capable workforce. I am confident this committee will provide us with the advice and strategies we need to bring this about."

Ends

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