New Zealand Labour Party

Coleman – ‘overwhelmed by disinterest’ and ‘conked out’

Today’s trenchant criticism of the Government’s health policy by Ian Powell the executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists must trigger action by the Minister, says Labour’s spokesperson for Health David Clark.

“Ian Powell says while Jonathan Coleman started his role with ‘gusto’ –‘that was as good as it got as he was overwhelmed by the rigour of disinterest and conked out.’

“He argues that for the first time since the early 2000s ‘Dr Coleman’s letter of expectations to DHBs for the current and previous years contain no reference to the importance of clinical leadership.’

“Ian Powell attacks the Ministry of Health for not addressing the vulnerability of its highly trained and specialised workforce. He accused the Ministry of Health of confusing messages in their bid to drive new technology in the Health system.

"The Minister must take heed of Ian Powell's blunt but accurate précis, and step up. Dr Coleman cannot continue to subject the health sector to funding cuts, and he cannot continue to allow a situation where in some specialties half of those receiving an operation are being treated by someone who is burnt out.

“I support Ian Powell’s view that Public Hospitals are ‘highly complex and integrated institutions that should be regarded as national treasures.’

“The workforce is increasingly stressed and strained and Ian Powell is right to be concerned that political and bureaucratic leaders are ignoring these problems.

“The ASMS has revealed that around a quarter of its staff recently surveyed are likely or extremely likely to leave District Health Boards over the next five years.

“Jonathan Coleman has to take this warning very seriously and start to address the 1.7 billion dollar hole in health funding,” says David Clark.