Did PM interfere in appointment of anaesthetist?
Did PM interfere in appointment of top anaesthetist?
Prime Minister Helen Clark must own up as to whether she or other Ministers interfered by stopping the appointment of top anaesthetist Graham Sharpe to the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Committee, says National’s Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison.
Dr Sharpe’s name was made prominent when he exposed the embarrassing Paintergate scandal, in which Helen Clark signed her name to a painting she did not paint, and which was later sold at a charity auction.
“The appointment should be based on merit and technical expertise. Did the Prime Minister interfere because she was miffed that Dr Sharpe caught her out?
“It is very important to have the best qualified professionals on this committee. Though maternal mortality is rare, anaesthetists are almost always involved. Currently, there is no anaesthetist on the committee,” says Dr Hutchison.
“Dr Sharpe’s nomination was fully supported by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and apparently by the Ministry of Health. Mysteriously, his name was later removed from nomination.
“Labour has dragged its feet in getting the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Committee up and running. The sector has been pressing for this for years because it deals with the deaths of mothers and babies, and also home births.
“It is an outrage if the Prime Minister has used her influence on the makeup of a vital technical committee by excluding a highly respected person just because she herself was embarrassed and shown in a poor light,” says Dr Hutchison.