Commissioner appointed to Hawke’s Bay DHB
27 February 2008
Commissioner appointed to Hawke’s Bay
The Minister of Health, David Cunliffe has removed the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and appointed a Commissioner to run its affairs.
Mr Cunliffe said that he had been forced to act to end an unsustainable situation.
“I have carefully studied the Board’s written response, that I asked for last week, it has become apparent to me the situation has now reached a point that action must be taken.”
“This is a very serious step to take, but the information presented to me in the Board’s own submission confirms that this is an organisation with deep divisions. I am not reassured that the Board has a clear plan for resolving these divisions.
“I have come to the view that I must act to stabilise the situation and to get the focus of the DHB back to providing first class health care to the people of the Hawke’s Bay. “said Mr Cunliffe.
“I do not think it is necessary or appropriate for me to try and conclude where the merits lie in the various views of the disputes at the Hawke’s Bay Board .However it is my clear view, whatever side one takes of these ongoing tensions, the current situation is unsustainable”
“As my primary responsibility is to ensure that the people of Hawke’s Bay have a first class and dependable health service I cannot allow this situation to continue.”
Mr Cunliffe said the Board had clearly admitted it had serious issues by suggesting that a Crown Monitor should be appointed, but he was not satisfied the appointment of a Crown Monitor would be sufficient to remedy the tensions and conflicts which had developed over a long period of time, and now appeared to be irretrievable.
The Minister noted that another board member Peter Hausmann had also provided a submission, which was critical of the board’s performance.
The Commissioner will be Sir John Anderson and he has indicated that he will appoint accountant and partner of Price Waterhouse Coopers, Brian Roche, as a Deputy Commissioner. Sir John has also indicated his willingness to appoint two other deputy commissioners to represent community interests, including Maori.
The Minister of Health said he is confident that Sir John and his team will ensure that the Hawke’s Bay DHB will be able to provide a sustainable first class health service into the future.
The Minister has also decided in the interests of complete transparency to release both the Board’s and Mr Hausmann’s submissions and their attached papers.