As a Wellington and Kenepuru Hospital doctor since 1978 and a CCDHB board member since 2007, I know we are facing hard times. Although we have made much progress since 2007, so much more still needs to be done and we must have experience and know-how to accomplish the best outcome.
I have been an advocate for my patients and healthcare colleagues over my entire career and held multiple leadership roles in the hospital, the Coalition for Public Health and Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. In 2003, I also published a prize-winning public policy book on patient safety. We must maintain the highest standards no matter how rough the politics.
A key role of the DHB Board is to assure that health professionals can get the job done. With my knowledge, hands-on leadership experience and a sharpened policy focus I can help the Board provide safe, effective and efficient healthcare.
Top 5 Issues
- Quality of care must never be compromised by false economies
- The health workforce, so much more than doctors and nurses, deserves respect, development and support
- The goals of managers and clinicians should be shared through mutual understanding and respect
- There are efficiencies and progress that can be secured by region-wide collaboration
- Access to care can always be improved if it is a core value of the system
After completing my medical education in Toronto and Massachusetts, I came to Wellington 32 years ago as a Medical Registrar on my way around the world and stayed because I thought the relationships I could have with my patients made more sense in New Zealand's public health system than the market confusion of the US. I still think so, but our public health system must be cherished and protected. I specialized in Intensive Care Medicine and became the Chairman of Wellington Hospital's Intensive Care Unit in 1988. Eighteen years ago when the Government was advised to adopt a market-based health system here, I joined the grass-roots response and was Spokesperson for the Coalition for Public Health from 1992-1997. I quickly realised that the only quality in the system was in the people doing the work and spent almost 20 years involved in the industrial representation of my colleagues, spending the last 6 years as National President of ASMS. From 1999-2002, i completed a Master of Public Policy to consolidate my experience and use the knowledge to improve our health system. My thesis, entitled Snakes and Ladders- the Pursuit of a Safety Culture in NZ Public Hospitals, was published in 2003 and is used in academic centers here and around the world. I was Clinical Leader Internal Medicine from 1999-2008 before taking on my Postgraduate Mentor/Supervisor role with my junior colleagues. In 2002-3, I was seconded to the Ministry of Health to help write Improving Quality, the strategy for sector-wide health policy to engage all of us in a better system. I have also concentrated on the needs of the health workforce since 1994 and am a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians' Expert Advisory Group on Workforce.
When the District Health Boards were created, one of my ASMS Presidential newsletters was entitled "Stand [for the DHB] and Deliver" in which I encouraged my senior medical colleagues to contribute their knowledge and commitment to the governance of the public health system. Having been elected to the CCDHB in 2007, I have learned what a complex and sometimes impossible task the board members have in trying to balance the competing needs of the people in the district. There are many aspects of the process that only come with experience and hard work and we only make small steps in the right direction. Sometimes we fail to make the difference we mean to make. We have been fortunate in the progress we have made in the last 3 years, but there is still so much to be done and the financial pressures are going to be intense.
My whole life hasn't been work, however. Along the way, my Kiwi wife, Kyra, whom I met in A&E [now ED] 27 years ago, and I have raised two sons of whom we are inordinately proud. We have been active in so many aspects of our community's life from school events to film festivals and enjoy Wellington's vibrant cultural environment and our greater region's marvelous outdoor attractions. My favorite recreation is fly fishing of which I do far too little.
Conflicts of Interest
I face the following conflicts of interest in standing for the position of CCDHB board member:
I am employed by CCDHB as an Internal Medicine General Physician, as Postgraduate Mentor and Supervisor and Clinical Leader Education and Development
[Health Education and Research Centre].
I am also a Senior Clinical Lecturer, Wellington School of Medicine Otago University.
Although I have the title of Public Health Policy Director for the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, I have no financial relationship with that trust.
My wife is also employed by CCDHB as the Rehabilitation Nurse, Occupational Health & Safety.
To the best of my knowledge and belief, I have no other conflicts of interest with CCDHB at the date of my notice of consent to being nominated as a candidate for membership of the board of the DHB.
I do not believe that any conflicts of interest are likely to arise in future other than the continuation of interests stated above.
Authorised by Dr Peter Roberts of 144 Grafton Rd Wellington
Questions answered by Peter Roberts
Peter Roberts's Reply
Results - Final
- Judith Aitken
- Helene Ritchie
- Margaret Faulkner
- Barbara Donaldson
- David Choat
- Virginia Hope
- Peter Roberts
- Donald Urquhart-Hay
- Camila Chin
- Nigel Wilson
- Russell Franklin
- John Apanowicz
- Maureen Gillon
- Elizabeth Anderson
- Andrew Holmes
- David Scott
- Maureen Cahill
- Peter Kelly
- Malakai Jiko
- Jack Wood