Students gain insight into director-general’s tough role

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield speaks via video link to a University of Otago...
Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield speaks via video link to a University of Otago health sciences lecture yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
About 200 Dunedin first-year health science students yesterday gained an insight into the challenging world of Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

The students were attending a lecture titled "Covid-19: We’ve got this?", which started with a video-link presentation by Dr Bloomfield and short talks by five University of Otago researchers.

The lecture was devoted to "the what, how and why behind the science that is guiding New Zealand’s response to Covid-19".

Dr Bloomfield welcomed the first-year students to the "kaupapa [philosophy or subject] of health", and the goal of improving the nation’s health.

He was busy yesterday dealing with the New Zealand travel bubble with Victoria, which has since been suspended for a further seven days after more Covid-19 cases.

He was also involved with several other issues yesterday, including the cyber attack on the Waikato District Health Board and overall efforts to counter pandemic challenges, he said.

He reflected on his wide-ranging medical background and his interest in public health.

Other speakers were Prof Vernon Ward (microbiology and immunology), Prof Patricia Priest (preventive and social medicine), Dr Jemma Geoghegan and Associate Prof Jo Kirman (microbiology and immunology) and Dr Andrea Vernall (chemistry).

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