History points to poor DHB decision

A damning Government-ordered review has found Nigel Murray, due to take up the role of CEO at Waikato District Health Board next week, was in charge of one of the worst-performing Canadian health authorities, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“A just released report prepared for the Canadian Ministry of Health shows several Fraser Health Authority hospitals in British Colombia, were the worst for patient safety and quality of care.

“It also found the authority was the only one in BC which failed to reach its budget for three straight years despite a bigger-than-average annual funding increase.

“Nigel Murray, who headed that authority, takes up the reins at Waikato on July 21.

“Dr Murray is not new to controversy. He was involved in a lengthy dispute involving junior doctors in Southland in 2006-2007.

“Labour urged the DHB to hold off confirming Dr Murray’s Waikato appointment until this latest report had been released. It declined.

“I also sought information from the Ministry of Health and from Health Minister Tony Ryall as to the process around the appointment, but was given the brush off.

“Nigel Murray will be responsible for one of New Zealand’s biggest public hospitals plus an annual budget of over $1billion, and Waikato DHB is not without its own shortcomings. A recent report noted there were too many managers, poor communication between departments, and too-slow treatment of patients.

“The Board is aware of Dr Murray’s track record. It will now be accountable for any decisions he makes in the future.”