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Health and Disability Commissioner Resignation

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

18 November 2009
Media Statement

Health and Disability Commissioner Resignation

The Health Minister Tony Ryall has received the resignation of Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson.

Mr Paterson has been appointed Chair of Law at Auckland University.

Mr Paterson, who has been in the role for ten years, will leave big shoes to fill, Mr Ryall said.

"We would all prefer to have a health system that works so well for everyone that the Commissioner's role was unnecessary.

"Unfortunately that is not the case and Mr Paterson has done professionally what is often an unpopular job - looking into complaints and taking action where required.

"I would like to acknowledge Mr Paterson's significant contribution to New Zealand's health service.

"During Mr Paterson's time there has been a noticeable shift to more openness and accountability.

"A good example is the regular reporting by DHBs of serious and sentinel events – being published later this month. This reporting allows us to learn what we can from mistakes so health professionals can do what they can to stop them being repeated.

"This approach is one that has been strongly promoted by the Health and Disability Commissioner. It is an indication of the health of our health system that we have such a high level of public accountability.

This is in no small part thanks to the role played by Mr Paterson. I wish him all the best for his return to law and his new position as Chair of Law at Auckland University.

The position will be advertised in due course.

ENDS

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