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Source: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists

Senior doctors at the Canterbury DHB are calling on the Board to front up and be accountable to staff and to the people of Canterbury.

More than 100 members of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and the Canterbury Hospitals’ Medical Staff Association met today to discuss a management leadership crisis.

It came as yet another senior executive resigned.

The resignation of the Chief Medical Officer follows that of Chief Executive David Meates and three other members of his executive team this month.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says today’s resignation will be particularly unsettling for clinical staff who are worried about the future direction and management of the DHB.

She echoed concerns expressed at the meeting about the Board doing much of its business behind closed doors, its singular focus on the deficit and cost-savings and its failure to engage with or listen to clinical advice.

“Upmost in the minds of specialists is the best possible healthcare for Cantabrians and they feel that is being left out of the equation in the Board’s decision-making.

“They need to have confidence that important decisions which will affect health care in the region for decades to come, are transparent, visible and are based on proper engagement with staff.

“Clearly that confidence has been shaken.  It’s something the Board needs to pay attention to,” Sarah Dalton says.

Canterbury DHB is the largest employer in the South Island and the 12th largest in the country.

Sarah Dalton says what goes on at Canterbury DHB matters.

“Senior doctors and dentists are conscious that now more than ever, people need confidence in their health leadership.  The focus should be on proper provision of services and safe care for patients, rather than decision-making based on politics and number-crunching”.