Commissioner to stay at SDHB

Kathy Grant
Kathy Grant

The commissioner running the Southern District Health Board will have her term extended under special legislation introduced to Parliament today, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced.

It means the promised return to a democratically elected board next year will not happen.

Dr Coleman said this morning that the commissioner team, led by Dunedin legal consultant Kathy Grant, was making progress and the exemption from the next year's DHB elections would allow that to continue.

"Exempting Southern DHB from next year's Board elections is essential to give the Commissioner team time to implement the financially sustainable plan to ensure that high quality health services are delivered, as well as the vital redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital," he said.

When the team was appointed in June, Dr Coleman said their term would finish on December 2 next year, shortly after the election of a new board.

He said the new deficit forecast of $35.9 million for 2015-16 (compared with the earlier projection of up to $42 million) showed that installing the commissioner team had been the right move.

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