Media release – September 24, 20008
New Zealand’s public addiction treatment services ineffective – says top DHB treatment expert who moves to private
New Zealand’s public addiction treatment service is riddled with problems and not effectively treating addicts, an
expert said today.
Nelson Sucgang, who has just resigned as specialist medical officer from the Waikato District Health Board, said there
was too much bureaucratic influence and control that resulted in nothing done or very little being done.
``Meanwhile people with addictions and their families wait, and wait and suffer and wait some more. I just want the
doctors and therapists to be able to do their job effectively and make a difference to people’s lives in the shortest
possible time, he said today.
Dr Sucgang, an award winning addiction specialist, is taking up a new consultancy role at the private addict ion
treatment Serenity Clinic which opened in west Auckland last month.
``What I have seen at Serenity is the courage to do things differently and to adopt innovative and holistic ways of
providing treatment that is substantial, intensive, effective and enduring in an environment that treats its clients
Serenity Clinic was meeting a growing need in New Zealand to treat drug, alcohol, gambling addictions which were
Dr Sucgang has been the Waikato DHB’s addiction medicine specialist for last two and a half years dealing with
addictions including medical detoxification relating to alcohol, opioids, methamphetamines and benzodiazepines.
He is one of only two members in Australasia of the American Board of Addiction Medicine.
``I am leaving the DHB because I want to make a difference in the addiction field. I want to see treatment really work.
Serenity will make a difference because they care. To my knowledge, there is no other private in clinic in the country
offering the kind of service.’’