Wellington Scoop

Doctors praise Debbie Chin’s work at Wellington Hospital

News from NZRDA
The New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (NZRDA) congratulates Debbie Chin for her work at Capital and Coast DHB. Earlier today, Debbie Chin announced her resignation from CCDHB, to take effect later this year.

“Debbie Chin has led CCDHB to become one of the most productive DHBs in the country,” says Dr Deborah Powell, National Secretary. “The NZRDA has appreciated Debbie’s honesty and also her availability in situations where issues required escalation. Debbie was prepared not just to listen, but also to get things moving.”

The NZRDA acknowledges that not everything has gone to plan, such as the ambitious ‘3D’ initiative (seeking to align services across the wider Wellington, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa region), but Debbie’s style of leadership meant new practices were nonetheless always being tried. “Wellington Hospital was amongst the first to make available physicians on duty to directly supervise resident doctors in the care of patients in the evening,” says Dr Powell. “This change has meant a better deal for both resident doctors and patients alike.”

However, the NZRDA has a warning to sound. “Increasingly, productivity is being achieved at the expense of adequate staffing,” says Dr Powell. “CCDHB is understaffed on a number of fronts, including having insufficient doctors available to cover absences. As a consequence, resident doctors are being left to cope with normal patient workloads despite being below minimum safe staffing levels.” The NZRDA is currently working with the CCDHB to get this situation resolved.

NZRDA wishes Debbie Chin well in her future endeavours.

News from PSA
The Public Service Association expresses regret at the decision of Capital and Coast District Health Board Chief Executive Debbie Chin to stand down at the end of the year, and are concerned that top public servants like her are bearing the brunt of Governmental underfunding of the health system.

“PSA members at CCDHB have described Debbie Chin to be a considerate and reasonable leader who worked collaboratively and respectfully with staff in a challenging financial environment,” says Kerry Davies, PSA acting national secretary.

Over her long career in the public service, Ms Chin has been a deputy director-general at the Ministry of Health and a health adviser for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She began her work with CCDHB in 2009 as a crown monitor.

“It’s an almost insurmountable task to steer an organisation the size of CCDHB when resources are so thin and Governmental support and leadership is minimal,” says Ms Davies.

“DHB chiefs like Ms Chin are operating on severely limited budgets that mean people are unable to access the health services they need when they need it.”

“The Minister’s insistence on ‘finding efficiencies’ in a system already starved of funding is an ideological legacy project that future board chairs will have to deal with as well.”

“Four Chief Executives have resigned from CCDHB due to underfunding, and turning around significant net debt is not going to be solved without proper investment in the sector.”

“We wish Ms Chin the best from our members on the frontline and hope that her resignation will spur action from the Minister, who desperately needs to take heed and restore funding to the health sector.”