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Appointment of Principal Medical Advisor

9 November 2001 Media Statement

Appointment of Principal Medical Advisor

Health Minister Annette King says the Ministry of Health will shortly advertise a new position, the Principal Medical Advisor.

Speaking at today’s Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) annual conference in Wellington, Mrs King said the position would be available for a senior clinician on secondment from a district health board.

“The successful applicant will be directly responsible to the director-general, with a personal reporting line to me, and will become an ex officio member of the director-general’s executive team.”

Mrs King said she learned of the concept in conversation with the Australian Minister of Health. “I could see how valuable the position could be both to the Ministry and to me. The director-general, Karen Poutasi, enthusiastically supports the concept, and from informal consultation I have done within the health sector there has been considerable backing for this innovation too.

“One crucial role of the new position will be to provide an independent clinical interface between the Minister, the Ministry and DHBs. The person can act as my agent, or the director-general’s agent, in managing or investigating identified and significant clinical issues.

“If, for example, there appears to be a difficulty in terms of surgical capacity at a particular hospital, or people are waiting significantly longer for certain procedures in one part of the country than they are in another, then the Principal Medical Advisor is the person who can go to the hospital concerned, discover precisely what the problems are, and what solutions may be needed.

“The Principal Medical Advisor will provide a clear insight, unburdened by other administrative responsibilities and unburdened by other loyalties.”

ENDS

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