State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie has today announced the appointment of Mr Chai Chuah as Chief Executive and Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health.

Mr Chai Chuah has been the Ministry of Health’s acting Chief Executive and Director-General of Health since November 2013. Prior to joining the Ministry of Health in February 2010 as the National Director of the National Health Board, Mr Chuah was Chief Executive of Hutt Valley District Health Board. Mr Chuah is a qualified chartered accountant with more than 25 years health sector experience.

Mr Chuah’s career includes more than 15 years in senior health management roles and he has held a number of operational roles throughout his career.

"I am very pleased to appoint Chai Chuah to this vital role for New Zealand" Mr Rennie said.

The Director-General of Health is a pivotal role leading a sector critical to the overall wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Ministry of Health is the Government’s chief advisor on health and disability matters and seeks to improve, promote and protect the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

"Mr Chuah has a lot of experience in building relationships between the Ministry and key stakeholders, notably the chairs, boards, and CEs of the District Health Boards" says Mr Rennie.

"During his many years in the health sector Chai has led a number of national health projects. Most recently in 2009 he led the IT side of the Ministerial Review Group that provided recommendations on improving the NZ health system" says Mr Rennie.

As acting Director-General of Health he has also been focussed on improving the social sector system performance through a variety of initiatives.

"Agencies working together as a single 'system', focused on ongoing improvement to the services we provide New Zealanders, is a major priority for the Public Service," said Mr Rennie.

"I am confident Chai will be able to draw on his networks and experience to work collaboratively with other chief executives and ensure the Ministry of Health's work is well integrated and aligned" says Mr Rennie.

Mr Chuah has been appointed for a five year term effective immediately.

ENDS

Media enquiries:  Tim Ingleton, SSC Communications 04 495 6648

A photo of Mr Chuah is available, please email SSC-Media@SSC.govt.nz

BIOGRAPHY OF CHAI CHUAH

Photo of Chai Chuah

Before joining the Ministry oF Health in February 2010 as the National Director of the National Health Board, Chai was Chief Executive of Hutt Valley District Health Board, a position he held since 2002.

Prior to that Chai held a number of positions at Canterbury District Health Board.

During his 25 years in the health sector Chai has led a number of national health services and health information projects including chairing the DHBs’ Information Group and the National Steering Committee for Quality Improvement Committee programmes. In 2009 he was a member of the Ministerial Review Group that provided recommendations on improving the New Zealand health system.

Chai holds a Commerce degree from Canterbury University.

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