State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes today thanked the Director-General of Health Chai Chuah for his public service.
Mr Chuah has been the Director-General of Health since November 2013. Prior to joining the Ministry in February 2010 as National Director of the National Health Board, Mr Chuah was Chief Executive of the Hutt Valley District Health Board. Mr Chuah has more than 25 years health sector experience, including 15 years in senior health management roles.
"The role of Director-General of Health is one of the biggest and toughest jobs in the Public Service," Mr Hughes said.
"The Director-General is responsible for stewardship of the health sector and for overseeing more than $20 billion of public expenditure every year.
"Mr Chuah shepherded through the New Zealand Health Strategy, which sets the direction for public healthcare for the next 10 years, at a time when the sector was undergoing significant change. He delivered on the Government's Better Public Services targets in health, drawing in efforts across social agencies, and he also oversaw the implementation of the pay equity settlement for Care and Support workers. He can understandably be proud of what he has achieved.
"Mr Chuah advised me at the end of July that he was considering stepping down before the end of his term. He has long held the view that it is critical that the health sector is unified in meeting the challenges ahead. As Director-General of Health he has put the foundations in place to shift our health system forward. It is his view that having started the process, it is now time for a new Director-General to accelerate and embed the changes. In making his decision he has put the system first and I respect him for that.
"I wish Mr Chuah well and I thank him for his public service.
"I will now begin the process of appointing a new Director-General to lead the health system into the future."
Mr Chuah's final day in the role is 2 February 2018.
"I will announce an Acting Director-General shortly," Mr Hughes said.