12 April 2020

Kia ora

I am pleased to enclose a copy of Choosing Wisely in Aotearoa New Zealand: The achievements and the challenges, which looks at the origins of the campaign in this country, what has been achieved, the challenges, and where we are today.

Choosing Wisely encourages health professionals to talk with patients about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures; and patients to discuss with their health professional whether they really need a particular intervention. Tests, treatments and procedures have side-effects, and some may even cause harm. For example, CT scans and x-rays expose people to radiation; overuse of antibiotics leads to them becoming less effective; a false positive test may lead to painful and stressful further investigation.

The Choosing Wisely campaign was formally launched in New Zealand just over three years ago, but thanks to the commitment and hard work of the health sector, progress has been remarkable.

Awareness of Choosing Wisely among clinicians has increased from 41 percent to 80 percent, and the number of consumers who said they asked their doctor questions about interventions has grown by 10 percent, to 54 percent.

There are now an impressive 33 lists of recommendations, support from 32 colleges and associations, as well as commitment from 18 district health boards (DHBs) who have been or are involved in over 100 Choosing Wisely projects.

There have been three consumer media campaigns; 12 summer students have been supported to undertake Choosing Wisely projects, three national forums have been held, and relationships have been developed across the health sector.

It is also more important than ever at this time to ensure that groups in our community who already have poor access to health services are not further disadvantaged and have equitable access to the best evidence care possible

I hope you enjoy reading Choosing Wisely in Aotearoa New Zealand – please feel free to circulate it widely to your colleagues.

Thank you for your support of Choosing Wisely.


Nāku iti noa, nā

Dr Derek Sherwood

Choosing Wisely Clinical Lead