Health Board head's salary up $70k

Carole Heatly
Carole Heatly
The chief executive of the cash-strapped Southern District Health Board has had a pay rise, the total package topping $500,000 in the last financial year.

The board posted a $17.8 million deficit in 2013-14, compared with a forecast $9 million deficit. The blow-out was ''disappointing'' given the effort to reduce the persistent deficit, the board's just-released annual report says.

Previously, Carole Heatly's total pay package had been $430,000 to $440,000, including benefits. In 2013-14, it was between $500,000 and $510,000.

The information on the remuneration of state services chief executives for the year ending June 30 was released yesterday by the State Services Commission.

Top of that list in the South was University of Otago vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne, whose total remuneration band increased $20,000 to $540,000-$549,999.

Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker's remuneration band increased $10,000 to $340,000-$349,000.

SDHB chairman Joe Butterfield said Ms Heatly's salary was regraded by the State Services Commission shortly after she started in 2012.''

She did not reap the benefits from this regrading for 16 months due to contractual years running from July-June,'' he said in an emailed statement.''

The salary currently given to the post of CEO of Southern DHB by the State Services Commission is graded on the size and complexity of the DHBs, and as Southern DHB is amongst the largest of the DHBs, the salary is commensurate with that.''

The number of SDHB employees on salaries of $250,000 or more increased 26% in a single year.

Asked yesterday about the increase in top salaries, patient services director Lexie O'Shea said it was because of the board's success in recruiting senior doctors.

The report shows 116 staff earned more than $250,000, compared with 92 in 2012-13.

The number earning more than $100,000 was also greater; 521 employees, compared with 496 the previous year.

The chief executive and one other employee were the highest earners, each receiving between $500,000 and $510,000.

The board paid out nine employees a total of $98,000 for termination or personal grievance.

The highest individual amount was $20,000.

The report says the board's challenges included ''ageing hospital facilities'' in Dunedin, emergency department attendances rising faster than the South's population, an ageing population and more chronic disease.

''We have had many challenges over the 2013-14 year, particularly with regard to the financial situation.

''There is no doubt that we need to live within our means whilst optimising our system capacity and capability,'' the report said.

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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