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Toxic culture needs fixing

Opinion Piece

Re: How healthy is our hospital? August 28 letter.

Good on you Tony for making public a number of huge issues that have been allowed to exist for many years. I believe this has come about in part through collusion and cover-up between management, clinicians and staff when challenged — in order to uphold the status quo and look after each-others’ interests at our community’s expense.

The culture there is extremely toxic. I say this after nearly 18 years of professional service in public and private healthcare systems in Australia and New Zealand, including my last posting at the hau ora in 2008.

Last October I had a bad experience after undergoing surgery at the hau ora, leading to a complaint to the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner. The commission found that there were serious gaps in the internal communication processes and served notice on the hau ora this had to be cleared up. I am still waiting for the outcome of a second complaint lodged about my surgery.

Certainly bullying is a major concern for some, who are hesitant to speak up in case they lose their jobs.

For the incoming hau ora board, you need to stand up for the people who elected you and don’t be misled by those who hold positions of power.

In fact, let’s have a clean sweep of the broom starting at the top.

No more bullshit!

Wally Te Ua