28 Jan 2009

Health board member quits

8:03 am on 28 January 2009

A member of the West Coast District Health Board has quit, blaming DHB systems for the loss of three long-serving anaesthetists within about six months.

David Tranter tendered his resignation to Health Minister Tony Ryall, saying the board was dismissive of safety concerns expressed by the former joint head of the anaesthetics department, Dr Judy Forbes, who left last May.

Two other anaesthetists have left since late 2007

Mr Tranter says it is futile being on the board, because members have little power.

He said the safety concerns raised by Dr Forbes were valid, but were wrongly over-ruled and the board "could do nothing about it, even if it wanted to."

David Tranter says since the corporatisation of the public health system, control of hospitals has transferred from professionals to bureaucrats with disastrous consequences.