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Health Minister Should Take A Cold Shower

“Health Minister Annette King should take a cold shower after her personal attack on the chairperson of the NZ Medical Association Dr Pippa Mackay this morning over the withdrawal of GPs from maternity care,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

Mr Powell was referring to the acrimonious debate on Morning Report (Radio New Zealand) between the Minister and Dr Mackay. Dr Mackay is also a member of the ASMS.

“Regrettably Annette King resorted to the disreputable tactic of attacking the messenger instead of simply debating the message. This has been a tactic of some former health ministers and we had hoped that she was above this.”

“It appears to be part of a deliberate strategy to isolate the NZMA and Dr Mackay because it does not like what it says. It indicates a political siege mentality. This is a foolish strategy that will fail and ultimately prove counter-productive. Do not the Minister’s advisers understand history?”

“She is either living in cloud 9 or engaging in political spin if it thinks that Dr Mackay and the NZMA are out on a limb. Their professional assessment is consistent with other specialised medical organisations with experience in this field including our members.”

“The issue is whether GPs withdrawing from obstetrics is a bad thing or not. The Minister obviously believes that it does not matter and no one should be concerned. It is her right to hold this view providing that she understands that the medical profession strongly believes that she is fundamentally wrong.”

“Annette King’s attack this morning risks creating a major rift between her and the medical profession that will be difficult to overcome. Some quiet wise reflection on the implications of this would not go astray,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell


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