A sacked member of the Waikato District Health Board is back as one of three commissioners appointed to take over the reins of the organisation.

Health Minister David Clark earlier this month sacked all 11 members of the Waikato DHB saying it was “necessary to lead the significant changes required”.

The 11 board members who have been sacked are chair Sally Webb, deputy chair Professor Margaret Wilson, Crystal Beavis, Sally Christie, Martin Gallagher, Mary Anne Gill, Tania Hodges, Dave Macpherson, Pippa Mahood, Sharon Mariu and Dr Clyde Wade.

Clark put former Director-General of Health Dr Karen Poutasi in the role of commissioner at the time of the May 7 announcement, leaving her to appoint further deputies.

Dr Poutasi today announced three deputies; Dr Andrew Connolly, Chad Paraone and Prof Margaret Wilson – the former deputy chair.

Wilson was charged with authoring a report into the health of the DHB and going on to find it “dysfunctional” before the board members were booted by Clark.

In announcing the new deputy commissioners, Poutasi said she was pleased to have such “experienced and respected deputies” working alongside her.

“Dr Connolly’s clinical expertise, along with Prof Wilson’s public policy experience and Mr Paraone’s health sector experience and depth of knowledge of Tikanga will be invaluable as we work to bring about the changes needed to improve this DHB’s performance.”

Dr Poutasi said keeping Wilson on the team, “as a previous Ministerial appointee to the DHB will also help with continuity”.

Wilson has also served previously as a Minister of the Crown and the Speaker of the NZ Parliament.

Dr Connolly is a general and colorectal surgeon at Middlemore Hospital and a former chair of the Medical Council of New Zealand.

Paraone holds various roles including Māori Health Director for research partnership Precision Driven Health and a strategic advisor to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

“I believe if we focus on working with our partner organisations in the community to improve the wellbeing of our people, providing quality services to our patients and getting our finances on a sustainable pathway, we can turn this DHB around.”

Dr Poutasi has spent the last three weeks meeting DHB staff and key stakeholders around the Waikato including the Iwi Māori Council, a co-chair of the DHB’s Consumer Council and primary health care organisations.

The DHB had still been unable to appoint a new chief executive after the resignation of controversial chief Nigel Murray in October 2017.

Earlier, Clark said having instability at a governance level meant despite a having a Crown Monitor, it was unable to address ongoing performance issues with clinical services.

“I have consistently made it clear to DHB chairs that I expect them to be careful stewards of our health system and deliver quality services to their communities. Where those expectations are not met I have a range of options available, including appointing a commissioner,” he said at the time of Dr Poutasi’s appointment.

Source: NZ Herald

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