28 Nov 2002

Cook Islands government supports nomination of Dr Joe Williams to WHO

5:37 am on 28 November 2002

The Cook Islands minister of health, Peri Vavae Pare, is standing behind the nomination of Dr Joe Williams for the top job at the World Health Organisation.

He says the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, the cabinet and the government supports the nomination of Dr Williams for the post despite concerns being raised about his suitability by a local business woman, June Baudinet.

Mrs Baudinet complained to New Zealand's Health and Disability commissioner about Dr Williams treatment of her in 1999 when she had to be hospitalised after being misdiagnosed and given tablets that were past their expiry date.

The commissioner's report states that Dr Williams breached the code and ethics of the country's Medical Association in several instances.

Mr Vavae Pare says he still fully supports Dr Williams nomination.

"I don't want to hear what they are saying about that...I don't know anything about that..but I don't want myself to get involved in that decision on whatever the commission has said...I can't see the impact on my support for joe Williams"

Mr Vavae Pare says the nomination has been forwarded to Geneva.

Mrs Baudinet says she intends to send a copy of the commissioner's report on Dr Williams to the World Health Organisation.