NZ Health Minister resigns after series of blunders

New Zealand's Health Minister David Clark has resigned, saying he had become a distraction to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic after a series of blunders.

Dr Clark was demoted in April when he revealed he had broken restrictions on movement, going mountain bike-riding and taking his family for a trip to the beach.

Last week, he appeared to lay blame for lapses in the quarantine system at the feet of director-general for health Ashley Bloomfield.

Dr Clark said today hat he had “always taken the view that the team should come first so I’ve made the call that it is best for me to stand aside.”

Education minister Chris Hipkins will step into the role until the election in September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“David has come to the conclusion his presence in the role is creating an unhelpful distraction from the government’s ongoing response to Covid-19 and wider health reforms,” she said.

“It’s essential our health leadership has the confidence of the New Zealand public.”

Dr Clark, an ordained Presbyterian minister, was appointed to the role in October 2017.

He recently released a wide-ranging review of the NZ health system chaired by Heather Simpson, as well as a Ministry of Health review that said the country's district health boards will need $2.3 billion over the next 10 years to bring their clinical and administrative IT systems up to scratch.

Posted in Movers and shakers

Tags: David Clark

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