Bloomfield puts on the brakes a year early
New Zealand’s director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, will step down from his role a year earlier than scheduled.
Dr Bloomfield, a specialist in public health medicine, has been the face of New Zealand’s response to the COVID pandemic.
He was appointed in June 2018 and his term was due to expire in June next year. Instead, he has chosen to step down at the end of July, as massive reforms to the NZ health system begin to roll out.
Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes said New Zealand was in a strong position because of its response to COVID-19 and its high vaccination rates.
“Dr Bloomfield has played a vital role in New Zealand’s success,” Mr Hughes said. “his stage in the Government’s COVID-19 response, and at the beginning of significant changes to the health and disability sector, Dr Bloomfield feels July is a good time to step away and have an extended break.”
Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins said Dr Bloomfield had saved tens of thousands of lives in the role.
“His workload has been enormous, but it hasn’t just been related to Covid-19,” Mr Hipkins said. “His entire life has been dedicated to the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.”
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