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Dropping Of Pat Snedden Loss To Health System

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Dropping Of Pat Snedden Loss To Health System

"The decision of the Minister of Health to drop Auckland District Health Board chair Pat Snedden by not reappointing him is an unfortunate loss to the health system," said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

"My relationship with Mr Snedden ranged between good and robust. We had some blunt disagreements but the robustness was always positive. I was impressed by his values, integrity, intellect, and willingness to listen and seriously consider other points of view. He challenged us but was always prepared to be challenged."

"Pat Snedden played a central role in the improvement of the relationship nationally between DHBs and the health unions (including senior doctors) representing around 90% of DHB employees. He was a key player in the Health Sector Relationship Agreement which promotes constructive engagement and has gone a long way to build collaborative working relationships between DHBs and unions. It is an important reason why there is industrial peace with 90% of the DHB workforce."

"Three years ago senior doctors were involved in a bitter collective agreement dispute with the DHBs. After some rocky exchanges Mr Snedden rolled up his sleeves and played an important role in its resolution. This included leading the DHBs in the achievement of the landmark 'Time for Quality' agreement between senior doctors and the DHBs which provides the core principles for achieving clinical leadership in DHBs."

"Arguably Pat Snedden's greatest achievement was his work chairing the former Quality Improvement Committee (now replaced by the Quality and Safety Commission). He led the work in promoting a new culture of openness in discussing adverse patient outcomes in the health system. The ability to report this information publicly has gone a long way to improve public understanding and reduce sensationalist reporting. He demonstrated an impressive ability to understand complex issues and articulate them in plain language."

"Pat Snedden combined intellect, competence, vision and integrity. This is what we should be keeping in DHB leadership, not dropping. We hope this is not the start of a trend," concluded Mr Powell.

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