ACC job takes medical officer off-call - at last
Bill Taine is putting away his scalpel, along with his role of chief medical officer for the South Canterbury District Health Board.
His part-time role with ACC is to become fulltime.
His career with Timaru Hospital spans 26 years, long enough to see the development of four different identities for the organisation now known as the South Canterbury District Health Board.
Dr Taine started work at the hospital as an orthopaedic surgeon on December 29, 1986. He later moved into a mixed public and private practice, where he remained until 2007.
From then he started dividing his time between the hospital as an orthopaedic surgeon and ACC, where he has been working part- time as a medical adviser. In 2010 he became SCDHB's chief medical officer.
The next major shift in his career will come in November when his role at ACC goes fulltime, which will mean giving up his other medical roles.
In the past 26 years he has seen many changes to the industry, particularly in improvements to equipment and processes.
The structure of the hospital and the clinical practices were among the aspects that had changed "a great deal", he said.
"When I started there were three people in charge of the hospital - a medical superintendent, chief nurse and hospital administrator."
He said it was a "reflection of how simple things were" in those days.
"Now there's more accountability across the board, a lot more transparency, I think, and a lot more economic management or oversight."
He said the introduction of the SCDHB in 2000 had provided a more professional approach.
Dr Taine said his earliest years at Timaru Hospital were also spent with limited technology. "When I first started here we didn't have a CT scanner."
He joined a committee to get one in the late 1980s. "It was a bloody awful machine, but we thought it was great."
Its arrival eliminated a "bunch of invasive investigations", he said.
Although some aspects of the industry have changed over the years, some things have remained the same. "When you are beavering away you've still got people in front of you with broken bones and fractures."
Dr Taine said he would miss his colleagues and his patients. The one thing he will not miss is being on call, an aspect which has dominated 32 years of his life.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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