Many keen to be part of new health board

The return of a democratically elected Southern District Health Board has been greeted with enthusiasm.

Twenty-eight people have been nominated for seven positions.

There are 17 candidates for the four Otago constituency positions, and 11 for the three Southland positions.

Notables running include outgoing Dunedin mayor Dave Cull, former MP Lesley Soper, former Central Otago mayor Malcolm Macpherson and recently retired SDHB medical officer of health Marion Poore.

The new board will take over from a commissioners team, which was installed by the Government in 2015.

The SDHB has one of the largest deficits of the country's 20 health boards, and has recently come under scrutiny for its cancer treatment waiting lists and dysfunction in its gastroenterology department.

The commissioners team is now meeting monthly, as it prepares to hand governance of the organisation to the new board. The final commissioners meeting will be held on November 28, and the board will take control in December.

Up to four extra people can be added to its seven elected members by Health Minister David Clark, who will also appoint a chairman and deputy chairman from the final board.


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