Hospital CEO appointment a 'big decision'

Oamaru Hospital. Photo: ODT files
Oamaru Hospital. Photo: ODT files
Filling the role of chief executive at Oamaru Hospital is a "big decision" the company that owns and operates Oamaru Hospital wants to get right, its chairman says.

The position has been vacant since former chief executive Robert Gonzales announced his sudden departure on May 4 after 17 years in the role.

Waitaki District Health Services chairman Chris Swann said while recruitment for a new chief executive was under way, the job was yet to be formally advertised.

"The board are just working through a process. We're looking at the right process to follow, reviewing job descriptions and obviously reviewing the model going forward, how we're doing it and what our requirements are going to be."

He said it was essential the best person for the job was found, but was unable to confirm when the board hoped to have the position filled.

"It's a big decision. We want to get it right. We've got an opportunity to review everything at present and make sure we're quite clear on what we want and require going forward."

On June 14 the Otago Daily Times reported the company was working with the Southern District Health Board to address staffing issues at clinical and management level.

The sudden resignation of Mr Gonzales, coupled with other resignations, had put pressure on the hospital's ability to recruit doctors, and came on top of a shift from a specialist to generalist model at the hospital, which was part of a continuing transition which involved doctors being trained and recruited as rural health specialists.

The recent appointment of Dr Fazal Mann to the role of rural hospital medical specialist was vital to the hospital's effort to attract doctors to Oamaru, Mr Swann said at the time.

At present, the hospital used its own staff, locums and some part-time doctors to fill its roster.

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