News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


DHB Chief Executive unfair to scapegoat senior doctors

6 November 2017

DHB Chief Executive unfair to scapegoat senior doctors for situation out of their control

“The chief executive of Southern District Health Board is undermining his credibility by scapegoating senior doctors for a situation they have no control over,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was responding to comments by Chris Fleming on delays in the DHB’s its cardiac surgery waiting lists. The Ministry of Health says an unacceptable number of patients are waiting beyond clinically appropriate timeframes – but the chief executive says senior doctors are to blame (

“It’s really disappointing that Chris Fleming is blaming senior doctors for this when the reality is that they’re working like the clappers to provide the best possible care for patients in run-down hospitals without enough money or staff. They’re already over-stretched and dealing with a 50% burnout rate across the senior specialist workforce, largely due to longstanding management neglect.

“His comments will severely damage his credibility with senior doctors. They also undermine our endeavours to work with him in turning around the toxic, disengaged leadership culture that he inherited at Southern DHB.”

Mr Powell says the targets cover just a small proportion of what public hospitals (ie, only those things that can be counted) compared, for example, with acute surgery.

“Acute surgery – you know, the operations that have to be done when a medical or other emergency of some kind arises – is often the cause of elective targets not being met. Targets are not an indication of how well a DHB is performing, which the chief executive should realise.

“ASMS welcomed Mr Fleming’s appointment as Chief Executive hoping that he would be part of the solution. Blaming doctors was what the previous leadership regime did. It is so disappointing that he is continuing this unfair tactic.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: NZSQ Conclude National Tour With ‘Release’ Programme

The NZSQ concluded their national tour in Wellington with a three-part programme, the triumphant final installment of which was entitled ‘Release.’ It included three pieces representing radical musical innovation... More>>

Howard Davis: The Show Must Go On - ‘La Traviata’ Opening Night Wobbles
Casting problems have beset ‘La Traviata’ since its first performance in March 1853 at Venice’s La Fenice opera house. Sadly, Saturday night’s premiere at Wellington’s newly-restored St James Theatre proved no different... More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland