Comment permalink

A Dunedin Hospital senior doctor was paid $408,000 in a severance payment in 2016-17, it has emerged.

The figure was released yesterday in the Southern District Health Board’s annual report.

The second highest termination settlement was $178,000.

To allay speculation the biggest payout was that of former chief executive Carole Heatly, the DHB said it was for a departing clinician.

‘‘We are unable to share details of individual employment matters. However, we can confirm that the $408,000 payment does not relate to any management position within the DHB.

‘‘The payment was in line with a nationally agreed collective employment agreement terms and conditions,’’ DHB chief executive Chris Fleming said in a statement.

Mr Fleming declined to give further detail, but the Otago Daily Times understands the clinician was a Dunedin Hospital specialist.

The 15 termination payments were worth $698,000 in total, compared with 18 the previous year, worth $643,000.

The report reveals another significant increase in the number of staff paid more than $100,000.

In 2016-17, 656 staff were paid more than $100,000, compared with 603 in 2015-16, and 561 in 2014-15.

At the top end, three staff were paid more than $520,000, when the previous year the highest paid was in the $500,000 to $510,000 band.

Commissioner Kathy Grant received $164,000 remuneration, and deputy commissioners Graham Crombie and Richard Thomson were paid $90,000 and $54,000 respectively.

The report’s preamble canvassed a difficult year in which the board struggled with patient care crises in some services, although it emphasises ‘‘achievements’’.

‘‘There have been important successes, including progress in meeting the target for providing faster cancer treatment and implementing the new raising healthy kids target.

‘‘However, other areas have troubled us, including meeting our elective surgery targets and achieving shorter stays in the emergency department.

‘‘The past year has also required us to confront major service challenges in ophthalmology and urology, where our systems and processes were unable to meet demands.

‘‘The impact on patients has been unacceptable, and addressing the situation has required us to consider all aspects of the services, from our administrative processes, to the capacity of the service and developing more sustainable models of care,’’ the report said.

SDHB — the numbers

12,700 elective procedures

81,000 emergency department presentations

4600 staff

320,600 people

3420 babies born

$21,800,000 deficit

$934,275,000 total revenue



Would the said clinician's payout have anything to do with a dispute with then CEO Carole Heatly?



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter