17 Dec 2014

Too much secrecy in public health - Ombudsman

10:15 am on 17 December 2014

The Ombudsman has told a district health board to release information about the number and type of procedures performed by a surgeon.

In a decision released today, Ron Paterson said aspects of the public health system are shrouded in secrecy, and that needs to change.

A journalist complained to the Ombudsman last year after the Tairawhiti DHB said in its minutes that an unnamed surgeon had been the subject of a complaint, but would not release details.

Mr Paterson said the complaint was not upheld, but the board should have released a brief summary to that effect, as well as information about the number and type of procedures the surgeon had carried out.

He said New Zealand lags behind in the proactive disclosure of public-health performance information.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs