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Wednesday, December 2

Doctors, nurses dominate new National Health Board


Seven of the ten new National Health Board (NHB) members announced today are doctors and nurses says Health Minister Tony Ryall.

"We need much greater clinical leadership in the public health service as well as a sharper national focus on District Health Boards and the Ministry of Health working together."

"That is why we've ensured there is a strong clinical leadership on the new board as well as financial and health management expertise" says Mr Ryall.

"This Board will be very influential in how New Zealand's health services will develop into the future."

Establishing a National Health Board was announced recently as part of a drive to improve frontline health services and better supervise the $10 billion of public health funding the 21 DHBs spend on hospitals and primary health care.

"We need to stop the 21 District Health Boards reinventing the wheel 21 times" says Mr Ryall. "We need to get public health services working as one system, and the NHB is a part of that."

The new NHB, working within the Ministry of Health, will consolidate national planning and funding of all IT, workforce planning and capital investment. It will also take national responsibility for vulnerable health services such as paediatric oncology.

"Placing our doctors and nurses at the centre of how we deliver health services is crucial to lifting performance of the public health service. The new NHB contains very strong clinical, financial and health management expertise."

The appointed members of the inaugural Board are:

Dr Virginia Hope (Deputy Chair) is a public health physician and Programme Leader for the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) at the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease. She was formerly a Medical Officer of Health in Auckland and an elected member of the Auckland District Health Board, and is currently an elected member of Capital and Coast DHB.

Dr Jeff Brown is a paediatrician based in Palmerston North, and is the current president of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. Dr Brown led the development of "In Good Hands", guidance to help District Health Boards introduce greater clinical leadership into the public health service.

Rob Cooper is currently the Chief Executive of the Ngati Hine Health Trust in Northland. He is a former Māori Health Strategist and Change Management Specialist in Māori health and Treaty policy compliance at the University of Auckland (2000-2005). He is an appointed member of the Auckland District Health Board (2007-present)

Mary Gordon is currently Executive Director of Nursing at Canterbury District Health Board (2002-present). Prior to this she was Director of Nursing Practice at South Auckland Health (2000-2002).

Professor Des Gorman is the Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Auckland. He also chairs the Clinical Training Agency Board, which has been set up to unify workforce planning in New Zealand.

Marion Guy is currently a part-time Practice Nurse in Tauranga, and was President of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation from 2005 -2009. She is currently on the NZNO Board of Directors, and is an elected member of the Bay of Plenty DHB (2004-present). Prior to this, Mrs Guy was a Senior Nurse at Tauranga Hospital Emergency Department.

Dr Bev O'Keefe is Chair of the Independent Practitioners Association Council of New Zealand (IPAC), and a former Chair of the General Practice Leaders Forum (GPLF). She has had her own GP practice in Rotorua for more than 27 years.

Graeme Osborne was previously General Manager, Information Management for ACC (2006-2009). He has held numerous Governance appointments, including as Chair of the Government appointed Health Information Strategy Advisory Committee (2008-present), and as a member of Land Information New Zealand's Audit Committee.

Hayden Wano is the Chief Executive of the Hauora Taranaki Primary Health Organisation, and CE of Taranaki health service organisation Tui Ora. He is a former chair of the Taranaki District Health Board (2000-2007), a former member of the National Capital Committee for the Ministry of Health, and earlier in his career Mr Wano was a registered nurse.

Dr Margaret Wilsher is currently Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Auckland District Health Board (2007-present) and Medical Director of Adult Health Services at Auckland City Hospital (2004-present).

Dr Murray Horn was appointed NHB Chair in October. Dr Horn is a Director and Chairman of Telecom's Audit and Risk Management Committee. He is a former Managing Director of ANZ Bank's New Zealand operations, and former Secretary to the Treasury.