Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority have established a taskforce of specialised and experienced clinicians to tackle waiting lists across the hospital system.

Members of the taskforce were announced in Auckland on Wednesday by Minister of Health Hon Andrew Little.

Chief Medical Officer at Counties Manukau, Andrew Connolly, will Chair the taskforce of ten members. The team has already met a number of times and provided initial advice to Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority about short-term measures that can be taken to immediately address long waiting lists, and the time people are having to wait for planned care and surgeries.

It will continue to investigate what needs to be done to strategically manage planned care over the long term, with an expectation that a full review and stocktake will be undertaken, with recommendations, by September.

Other members of the taskforce include:

  • Professor Diana Sarfati, the chief executive of Te Aho o te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency
  • Wellington GP Dr Jeff Lowe, who chairs General Practice New Zealand
  • Auckland District Health Board funding and development manager Jo Brown
  • Canterbury District Health Board chief operating officer for networks, Dan Coward
  • Canterbury District Health Board director of nursing Brenda Close
  • Bay of Plenty DHB clinical director Linda Chalmers
  • Northland DHB general and oncoplastic breast surgeon Maxine Ronald
  • Dr Kiki Maoate, a paediatric surgeon at Canterbury DHB
  • Dr Rawiri Jansen, the clinical director of the National Hauora Coalition. Dr Jansen has been appointed to the taskforce by the Interim Māori Health Authority.

Read the Minister's press release and speech on the Beehive website: