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New Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner

9 May 2005 Media Statement

Appointment of new Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner

SENIOR and widely-respected journalist Rae Lamb is to take up a new position as deputy Health and Disability Commissioner with special responsibility for complaints resolution, Health Minister Annette King announced today.

"I am delighted to be able to appoint someone of Rae's calibre and experience to this role," Ms King said today. "I believe her communications skills, her extensive knowledge of and network of contacts in the health sector, and in particular her interest in the quality of healthcare well equip her for this new role."

Ms King said Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson had asked for a new deputy's position to be established earlier this year, following law changes in 2004. Mr Paterson was the sole commissioner from his appointment in March 2000 until March last year when Ms Tania Thomas was appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner, Education and Corporate Services.

"Rae Lamb has been the Health Correspondent for Radio New Zealand for the past seven years, the culmination of 25 years’ experience in print, television and radio journalism," Ms King said.

"She also has recent academic research experience, gained in 20001/02 when she was based at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in the US as a Harkness Fellow. Her excellent research into the disclosure of medical error to patients has subsequently been published and widely presented both in New Zealand and the United States."

Rae Lamb will lead the Commissioner’s complaints resolution functions and team, overseeing the assessment, mediation and investigation of complaints. She will take up the appointment - which is for five years - on August 1.


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