The Ministry of Health welcomed its new Director-General Ashley Bloomfield to the role at a pōwhiri on 8 June.
Dr Bloomfield has been Interim Chief Executive for Capital & Coast District Health Board since January this year, on secondment from Hutt Valley District Health Board where he has been Chief Executive since late 2015.
He sees the Ministry’s stewardship role as ensuring clear direction, delivering the best possible health outcomes – equitably for all groups – with the available resources, and robust planning for the future.
‘I am excited about this next step. Yes, I feel the weight of expectation on me and on this organisation. But that’s as it should be as I know we all have high expectations of ourselves and huge ambition for our health system, our public service and our country,’ Ashley commented at his pōwhiri.
‘And more than equal to that weight of expectation I feel uplifted by the expressions of strong support and keen desire for our collective success.’
He intends to continue building on Acting Director-General Stephen McKernan’s direction of engaging the wider health sector closely in the Ministry’s work to deliver on the Government’s health priorities.
By way of background, Dr Bloomfield qualified in medicine at the University of Auckland in 1990 and after several years of clinical work specialised in public health medicine. His particular area of professional interest is non-communicable disease prevention and control, and he spent 2011 at the World Health Organization in Geneva working on this topic at a global level.
Prior to commencing as Director-General, Dr Bloomfield was Chief Executive at the Hutt Valley District Health Board and has previously held a number of senior leadership roles within the Ministry of Health. From 2012–15 he was Director of Service Integration and Development and General Manager Population Health at Capital & Coast, Hutt and Wairarapa District Health Boards.