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Minister Replaces Chair of Otago DHB

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
Minister of State Services


Media Release        

Minister Replaces Chair of Otago District Health Board

Health Minister Tony Ryall says health bosses will be held accountable for their performance.

This afternoon Mr Ryall announced he has removed Richard Thomson from the position of appointed Chair of the Otago District Health Board.

"During Mr Thomson's chairmanship, the largest fraud in New Zealand State Services history was taking place at Otago DHB. $17 million was defrauded over 6 years," said Mr Ryall.

"This morning I telephoned Mr Thomson to tell him my decision ," said Mr Ryall.

"Accountability is a critical aspect of the role of the Chair and as Minister I must have confidence that the Chair will lead a board that operates both effectively and efficiently."

Mr Ryall also announced that Mr Errol Millar, an appointed member of the Otago District Health Board will take up the role of Chair immediately.

Mr Millar was appointed to the Otago DHB in 2007, having been appointed to the Southland DHB in 2002 and 2004. He was also Chair of the Airways Corporation 2001-2004, and is currently Deputy Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority.

"The close working relationship between Otago and Southland DHBs will be further strengthened by Mr Millar's experience on both boards," said Mr Ryall.

Mr Thomson remains an elected member of the Otago District Health Board.



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