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Dr Jonathan Coleman has written to the deficit-ridden board asking it to respond by June 11.
The commissioner would replace the board.
The board has been under fire lately for an unpopular round of cuts as it tries to deal with a projected $42 million deficit in the coming financial year.
Dr Coleman released a statement this afternoon, in which he said: ''No decision has yet been made about the governance structure.
''I will not be making any decisions until I have had time to carefully consider the board's response which is expected in the next few days.
''I am committed to the vital redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital and the provision of high quality health services to all the people of the Southern region.
''The problems at Southern DHB are longstanding and have been well documented.''
- See the ODT tomorrow for full details