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Open Forum: Why is it so hard to be open? The pitfalls and promise of transparency in health care

Te Tāhū Hauora Health Quality & Safety Commission
10 March 2020
9:00 AM  - 4:30 PM

On 10 March 2020 the Health Quality & Safety Commission will bring together world leaders in thinking about transparency from New Zealand, the UK and Australia. 

We’ll discuss the scandals, principles and history driving the transparency agenda, alongside some of the nuances of transparency in practice – how has it been done elsewhere and how can it be done intelligently and thoughtfully in New Zealand? How do we give the public what they want while driving quality improvement and increasing patient safety?

In the UK and the US, publication of the outcomes of individual surgeons is now widespread, with variable results and huge outcry, including calls for the UK scheme in particular to be abandoned. Some specialties show improved outcomes associated with public reporting but many protest that the process is driving risk averse behaviour, gaming and negatively affects the training of young doctors. Across the world and in medical literature the debate about how to 'do' transparency rages on.

Since the ground-breaking publication of the paper 'Better data' by the Medical Council of New Zealand in 2015, and the Ombudsman’s 2016 ruling that outcomes must be published by 2021, New Zealand has grappled with how to be more transparent.

This Open Forum brings together world leaders in thinking about transparency, to debate the issues and find a way forward.

Who should attend?

Transparency in health care affects the entire workforce, and we have seen from other jurisdictions how it drives choices, behaviours and outcomes from the board room to the patient bedside. This work is relevant to the general public as well as  clinicians, decision makers, policy makers, board members and chief executives. 


The cost to attend is $295 + GST. 

Event flyer

Download the event flyer.


Registration is open:


Mr Samer Nashef

Mr Samer Nashef qualified as a doctor at the University of Bristol in 1980 and trained in general surgery in London and Exeter. His specialist training in cardiac surgery was in Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester and Bordeaux in France. He was appointed consultant surgeon at Papworth in 1992.

Samer is active in research, with a major interest in the evaluation and monitoring of the quality of surgical treatment. In that field, he has led national and international initiatives, including the EuroSCORE Project.

He is the author of two books: The Naked Surgeon and The Angina Monologues. In his spare time, he compiles cryptic crosswords for a number of publications, including The Guardian and The Financial Times.

Samer Nashef is presented in partnership with the New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Read more about Mr Nashef.

Dr Stephen Duckett

Dr Stephen Duckett is director of the health programme at Grattan Institute. He has a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas ranging from the introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals, to new systems of accountability for the safety of hospital care. An economist, he is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Read more about Dr Duckett

Find out about other confirmed speakers here.

More information

For more information contact the Commission's events team at

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