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New partnership for health and IT

Hon David Cunliffe

Minister of Health

16 October 2008 Media Statement

New partnership for health and Information Technology

A new top level advisory body for leading technology change in the health sector was announced today by Health Minister David Cunliffe.

“HISAC, the Health Information Strategy Advisory Committee has been reconstituted and powered up to provide sector wide ICT leadership,” Mr Cunliffe said.

In its new role, rather than working ‘bottom up’, encouraging individual health IT projects, HISAC will provide top level advice direct to the Minister of Health,” Mr Cunliffe said.

Decisions made at ministerial level, on advice, will then be the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to implement across the health system, working in partnership with DHBs and other health providers.

“The sector has been great at identifying pockets of innovation but needs new mechanisms to achieve a fast and decisive roll out across the sector,” Mr Cunliffe said.

“Achieving the Government’s vision of a fully connected health sector, where patients’ health information is available where and when they need it.”

“This committee is about instigating action and changes in a co-ordinated and effective manner.

“HISAC will continue to provide independent advice on the Health Information Strategy and on investments in sector-wide health information solutions.”

“These appointments demonstrate greater emphasis on clinical leadership and consumer participation. Together these people bring together broad experience in both public and private organisations in the health system and ICT industry, and continue the integrity and independence of the Committee,” Mr Cunliffe said.



Please note all appointments are for one year

Mr Graeme Osborne, Chair, Wellington, is the General Manager, Information Management, ACC (October 2006 to present). Prior to this, he was the Group Manager, Information and Business Services, Statistics New Zealand (2001 to 2006). He has considerable experience working in the financial, health insurance and information technology fields.

Dr Harry Pert, Rotorua, is a general practitioner at the Ranolf Medical Centre in Rotorua. Prior to this he has been the Chairperson of the Rotorua General Practice Group and a member of the Independent Practitioner Association Council.

Mr Chai Chuah, Lower Hutt, is the Chief Executive Officer of Hutt Valley Health District Health Board (2002 – present). From 1997 he worked for Canterbury Health Ltd in a number of roles including Acting Chief Executive, Chief Operation Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Chai held various management positions in Corporate Finance at Canterbury Health Ltd

Dr Chris Hendry, Christchurch, is the Executive Director of the Midwifery and Maternity Providers Organisation. She is also a midwife and midwifery researcher with a particular interest in midwifery practice management and midwifery service development.

Ms Joanne Fitzpatrick, Auckland, is currently the Director of Women’s Health Action Trust (2003 to present), Chair of the Ministry of Health NGO Forum (2006 to present), consumer representative to various HISAC sponsored initiatives (2007 to present) and consumer representative to Organ Donation New Zealand (2006 to present).

Mr David Moore, Wellington, is Chief Executive of LECG Asia Pacific, a Board Member of PHARMAC (2001 to present), Director of the Crown Health Financing Agency (2007 to present), and Member of the HealthMAP Advisory Board (2005 to present). He was the sponsor and author of the Working to Add Value in E-information (WAVE) report (the precursor to the current Health Information Strategy for New Zealand).

Dr Pim Allen, Invercargill, is currently the Chief Medical Officer at Southland District Health Board, and previously at Waikato District Health Board. She has been actively involved in quality improvement and workforce planning initiatives at the national level.

Mrs Elizabeth Plant, New Plymouth, is the Chief Pharmacist and Pharmacy Portfolio Manager at Taranaki DHB (1996 to present), Executive Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ (2005 to present), Member of the Safe Quality Use of Medicines Committee (2004 to present) and a Member of the DHBNZ Pharmacy Advisory Committee (2003 to present).

Dr Murray Milner, Wellington, is an independent consultant in information and communications technology, with over 34 years experience in the industry. He was previously the Chief Technology Officer at Telecom New Zealand (until 2005). He has a Doctorate Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury, and undertaken post doctoral research in economics, public policy and telecommunications at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford Universities in the United States.

Mr Nathan Torkington, Auckland, has extensive ICT industry experience. He is the founding Director of He Hononga Software (2006 to present) which helps companies and individuals undertaking internet ventures. He has been a member of the board of The Perl Foundation, a non-profit organisation that seeks to support collaborative work in open source projects. In 2007 he chaired an international Open Source Convention.


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