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National attacks senior health professionals

7 September 2006

National attacks senior health professionals

Health Minister Pete Hogdson has called on Tony Ryall to apologise for his ill-advised attack on some of New Zealand's most senior health professionals.

Tony Ryall described members of the new Workforce Taskforce as 'a bunch of bureaucrats' and has said that the committee will "do nothing".

"The members of the Workforce Taskforce are among New Zealand's most well respected health professionals," Pete Hodgson said.

"Among them are a cardiologist with 30 years experience, a Dean of Medicine at Auckland University, two professors of nursing with combined experienced of over 60 years and a former President of the Royal College of GPs.

"Tony Ryall was appointed as the National Party Health Spokesman because he is an 'attack politician.' He should keeps his attacks to politicians and give our health professionals and public servants the respect they deserve."

Attached: Biographies of the Taskforce members

The Workforce Taskforce

Dr Robert Logan is the Chief Medical Advisor to the Hutt Valley District Health Board and the immediate past chair of the National Health Committee, a role he held for seven years. He has nearly 30 year of experience as a practicing physician and cardiologist.

Len Cook is New Zealand's former Government Statistician and last year completed five years of service as the National Statistician of the United Kingdom. He is a visiting professor at the University College of London and currently works as a statistician for a number of organisations including the Retirement Commission, the OECD and the United Nations.

Dr Frances Hughes is Professor and Director of the Centre for Mental Health Research, Policy and Service Development at the University of Auckland. She was a previous member of the Health Workforce Advisory Committee (HWAC) and has 30 years of experience in the health workforce including many years as a Registered Psychiatrist Nurse and Registered Comprehensive Nurse.

Professor Iain Martin is Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Auckland University. Originally from Britain, Professor Martin was a member of the Doctors in Training Roundtable and is a previous member of the Australian Medical Council Medical School Accreditation Committee.

Suzanne Win is the Chair of the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and was previously a member of HWAC. Trained as a nurse, Ms Win has long experience in health policy and was the Ministry of Health's former Deputy Director General for Disability Support Services.

Dr Margaret Horsburgh is Associate Professor of Nursing at Auckland University. Dr Horsburgh is a former member of the National Health Committee and the Auckland District Health Board and first qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1964.

Dr Jim Vause is the former President of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and Principal and Owner of Redwoodtown Doctors in Blenheim. He was a member of HWAC and is currently a member of the Epiqual Advisory Committee and the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Advisory Committee.

Dr David Stewart is a practicing endocrinologist and a member of the Otago District Health Board. Dr Stewart has served previously as the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) at the University of Otago and is an honorary life member of the New Zealand Society of Endocrinology.

ENDS

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