Ian Powell - Latest News [Page 1]

Is There A Difference Between A Powerful Government And A House Of Cards?

Friday, 22 January 2021, 3:27 pm | Ian Powell

The 2020 general election produced the most powerful government New Zealand has ever had since proportional representation (mixed member representation) began in 1996. With three year terms we have now had nine elections under this system. For ... More >>

Simpson Restructuring Could Stifle Potential To Address Inequitable Māori Cancer Care

Monday, 21 December 2020, 6:06 am | Ian Powell

I have always been a fan of public radio and, in particular, Radio New Zealand. While one can question from time to time some of its reporting, generally it is solid and informative. Democracy is not just spending around 2-3 minutes every three years ... More >>

Necessary Health System Trade-offs Should Be Unnecessary

Friday, 11 December 2020, 5:49 am | Ian Powell

The National Bowel Screening Programme (NSBP), which began in 2017 following a pilot that started at Waitemata District Health Board five years earlier, is a welcome initiative long in its gestation and implementation. The screening programme is for ... More >>

Little In Health Systems Are What They First Appear To Be

Tuesday, 8 December 2020, 6:22 am | Ian Powell

One thing I quickly learnt after commencing work as the first Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) over three decades ago was that in the health sector little that happens is what it first appears. Invariably ... More >>

Health Restructuring Threatens Patient Voice

Monday, 7 December 2020, 10:09 am | Ian Powell

The opportunity for public voice is vital for the effective functioning of New Zealand’s health system. Inevitably voice boils down to the accessibility quality of comprehensive healthcare services for patients both at an individual treatment and population health ... More >>

Pay Equity Settlement For DHB Administration Staff Has Valuable Lesson For Medical Specialists

Friday, 4 December 2020, 6:18 am | Ian Powell

Under new gender pay equity legislation through an amendment to the Equal Pay Act in July the Public Service Association (PSA) has achieved a major win for clerical and other administration staff employed by New Zealand’s 20 district health boards ... More >>

Foot And Mouth By Health Unions Not Smart

Monday, 30 November 2020, 3:56 pm | Ian Powell

Health systems are labour intensive which makes workforce critical to their performance. The fact that New Zealand’s public system is highly unionised, especially health professionals, is a systemic strength. Health unions have proven to be essential ... More >>

Collective Bargaining And Health Systems: Place And Tide

Sunday, 22 November 2020, 6:21 pm | Ian Powell

Otaihanga Second Opinion is a health systems blog with a largely New Zealand focus. Otaihanga on the Kapiti Coast and by the Waikanae River is where I live. It is a Maori name meaning the place made by the tide. Linking collective bargaining to health ... More >>

The Extreme Consequence Of Overworking Medical Specialists

Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 6:18 pm | Ian Powell

One of the most distressing parts of my years working for the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists was when there was a member suicide. These tragedies were infrequent and invariably due to a range of factors. But they were a constant reminder to me ... More >>

Nursing Union Right To Encourage Nurses Not To Work In Unsafe New Zealand Quarantine Facilities

Sunday, 15 November 2020, 7:11 pm | Ian Powell

As a union the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is taking a strong line on what it has concluded to be serious health and safety risks for nurses working in government managed isolation (quarantined) Covid-19 facilities. NZNO NZNO is well ... More >>

Greens Need To Provide An Independent Voice Over New Zealand’s Health System

Tuesday, 3 November 2020, 6:12 am | Ian Powell

The stunning election outcome led to the largely unexpected outcome confirmed on 1 November of both New Zealand’s first single party (Labour) majority government since mixed member representation was introduced in 1996 and a cooperation agreement, ... More >>

Health Minister Talking Bonkers On Postcode Lottery And Simpson Review

Friday, 30 October 2020, 5:41 am | Ian Powell

Minister of Health Chris Hipkins is trying to justify the restructuring of DHBs proposed by the Heather Simpson review of New Zealand’s health and disability system with the argument that it will solve the problem of what he labels as the postcode ... More >>

Leadership Failures Threaten Public Trust And Confidence In Covid-19 Response

Wednesday, 21 October 2020, 6:14 am | Ian Powell

New Zealand’s response to the coronavirus has been outstanding by international standards. Even with the second recent outbreak in Auckland, according to World Health Organisation data as of 16 October, our mortality rate remained one of the best in ... More >>

Medical Profession: A Driver Of Health System Innovation

Friday, 16 October 2020, 6:36 pm | Ian Powell

During my over 30 years representing medical and dental specialists, primarily those employed by district health boards, it never ceased to impress me how much they generate sustainable innovation. Specialists by their nature and training are masters of complexity ... More >>

A ‘Good Death’ Is The Issue, Not Euthanasia

Thursday, 15 October 2020, 6:23 am | Ian Powell

By this Saturday evening we should know the result of the euthanasia referendum held in conjunction with both the general election and cannabis referendum. The euthanasia referendum is unusual in that it is binding and legislation already in place should ... More >>

Campaign To Increase Sick Leave Both Timely And Overdue

Monday, 5 October 2020, 8:48 am | Ian Powell

As someone who has been centrally involved in union leadership for over 30 years I have in recent years been increasingly frustrated by the top leadership of the Council of Trade Unions, the peak union body in New Zealand. While the election of ... More >>

Guided Autocracy: Proposed Health System Reforms In NZ

Friday, 2 October 2020, 4:45 pm | Ian Powell

Ian Powell analyses the Simpson report on NZ’s health system and provides an alternative view on the reforms really needed to achieve a people-centered health system for New Zealand. More >>

Fair Pay Agreements Will Challenge General Practice In New Zealand

Thursday, 1 October 2020, 11:16 am | Ian Powell

Fair Pay Agreements (FPA) are strongly promoted by two of the three current coalition government parties (Labour and Greens). They were a feature of Labour’s 2017 election campaign and it was expected that the Employment Relations Act would have been amended ... More >>

Ian Powell: Does Private Healthcare Threaten Public Healthcare In New Zealand?

Wednesday, 23 September 2020, 12:01 pm | Ian Powell

Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), ... More >>

Rip Cording Canterbury

Thursday, 17 September 2020, 4:21 pm | Ian Powell

In my over 30 years working in New Zealand’s health system I never came across the expression ‘rip cord’ even from the most pretentious jargonistic management consultants. However, it has now appeared on the lips and keyboards at the crisis ... More >>