The Southern District Health Board is hiring a chief
financial officer, two years after removing the position.
In yet more reorganisation at the deficit-ridden board,
finance and funding executive director Robert Mackway-Jones's
role is changing to cover only planning and funding.
Appointing a dedicated finance chief would ensure the board
stayed "on track with our deficit", chief executive Carole
Heatly said in an email yesterday.
"The cost of the new position will have a very small effect
on the costs of the executive team when compared to the
transformational savings programme we have embarked on," she
said in the email.
The cost reducing "transformation programme", assisted by
business services company PricewaterhouseCoopers, was making
progress, she said.
The changes freed Mr Mackway-Jones for important health
service planning, such as the major reconfiguration of
services under way at Lakes District Hospital in Queenstown.
The top-level finance role was advertised in the Otago
Daily Times on Saturday.
Finance merged with planning and funding in May, 2010, in the
wake of the merger of the Otago and Southland boards.
This year the executive team was restructured, in June,
initially reducing the team from 13 to 11. Two subsequent
changes, including re-introducing a stand-alone finance role,
returns it to 13. Ms Heatly said yesterday the executive
restructuring was "never about reducing its size".
Asked if Mr Mackway-Jones would face changes to his pay, she
said she would not discuss staff salaries, but hinted he
would not, because "the new planning and funding position is
not a diminished role and takes on new areas of
Depending how long recruitment took, the new regime would
probably not be in place until early next year, she said.
The board's unconfirmed 2011-12 deficit is $13.2 million.
Health Minister Tony Ryall is yet to sign off the board's
2012-13 annual plan, a big part of which is details of
spending the board is allowed.
The Southern board is one of only three boards yet to have
its annual plan approved by Mr Ryall, his office confirmed
The other two are Canterbury, and Capital and Coast.
The minister has signed off the annual plan of the remaining
17 boards for 2012-13.
Asked if he was happy with Southern's progress, Mr Ryall said
through a spokeswoman he expected to receive a draft plan
Southern was working closely with the Ministry of Health, and
business services company PricewaterhouseCoopers, on ways to
"improve their financial position", Mr Ryall said.