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Reappointment of Health & Disability Commissioner

21 February, 2005 Media Statement

Reappointment of Health & Disability Commissioner

The New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner, Mr Ron Paterson, has been reappointed for a second term.

Announcing the reappointment, Health Minister Annette King says since taking office in 2000, Mr Paterson has made significant progress in improving the overall quality and timeliness of investigations, and clearing the backlog of open files.

During his first term, Mr Paterson reviewed the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 and the Code of Consumers’ Rights. He has completed a number of significant inquiries, established strong links with consumer and provider groups and published case findings which promote quality improvement.

Ms King says Mr Paterson is well respected by his peers and the health and disability sector, and internationally, and will continue to make a valuable contribution to the sector. His reappointment will also ensure continuity at a time when legislative changes to improve complaints processes are being bedded down.

Mr Paterson played a key role in the final development of the Code of Consumers' Rights in 1996. He has lectured and published on a wide range of topics in health law, ethics and policy and gave evidence on ‘Safeguarding Patients’ as an expert witness before the Shipman Inquiry in England (January 2004).

Mr Paterson is currently chairing two major Australian health reviews: the Review of System of Assessment of Overseas-Trained Surgeons in Australia; and the Review of Governance Arrangements for Safety and Quality in Healthcare in Australia.

ENDS

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