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Dr Clark said he appointed the Crown Monitor to ensure that Cantabrians continue to have high quality, sustainable health services.
"I expect DHBs to improve their financial positions and to demonstrate they have a pathway to maintain financial sustainability," Dr Clark said.
"Canterbury has the largest deficit of any DHB in the country, forecasting to end the 2018/19 financial year with a deficit of $103.4 million and increasing in future years. That’s not sustainable, and it’s why I haven’t approved this year’s annual plan.
"Clearly there have been unique health challenges in Canterbury, including the aftermath of earthquakes and the terror attack, which the DHB has handled superbly.
Christchurch Hospital campus also had capital redevelopment needs.
The DHB and the Ministry of Health had been working hard on a masterplan and business case.
“This will need a significant investment from the Government, and the DHB must be in a financial position to support this work.”
Dr Lester Levy had been appointed as Crown Monitor, starting immediately, he said.
"I’ve asked Dr Levy to bring his considerable experience to the Board table, to strengthen performance and planning, and maintain direct communication with Government," Dr Clark said.
Dr Levy was previously Chair of Waitemata, Auckland, and Counties Manukau DHBs. A Crown Monitor has already been put in place at Waikato and Counties Manukau DHBs.
The Wellbeing Budget provided $80.5 million more per year in operating funding for Canterbury DHB, he said.
Canterbury was also one of four DHBs that would be part of the next phase of the national bowel cancer screening programme.