The resignation of Capital & Coast DHB’s chief executive has “alarmed” nurse’ union NZNO who fear underfunding is behind her decision.

Debbie Chin today announced that she would stand down at the end of the year as chief executive of the district health board – a position she has held since 2015.  But her involvement with the DHB began in 2009 when she was appointed a Crown Monitor of the DHB and neighbouring DHB and in 2013 she took over as interim CEO of CCDHB after the previous CEO’s resignation.

Memo Musa, chief executive of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation said Chin was  the fourth chief executive to resign “because of underfunding of CCDHB, which has been ongoing for many years”.

“We are actually shocked and disappointed that the impossible task of running a DHB, providing good services to the community of Wellington as well as other DHBs in the Central region, without enough funds, has taken another head,” said Musa. “This really should ring loud and long alarm bells to Treasury and to Government that underfunding of the DHBs is causing havoc.”

“Our nurses, organisers, professional nurse advisors and senior staff have excellent working relationships with Ms Chin and many are personally upset she is leaving when she has been an absolute rock and a great leader for the DHB.”

Chin said work in health was “always challenging and DHBs were big complex businesses” and while her time at the DHB had been “extremely rewarding” she was now ready for her “next challenge”.

“Although at times it has been difficult, the DHB has achieved many advances thanks to the quality of the front line team,” said Chin. “I would like to thank the staff for the work they do and their dedication to our community. I also want to acknowledge the high levels of engagement across the organisation.”

“Our clinicians have been focussed on ensuring a high standard of delivery. The trust and confidence placed in our leadership team by our primary health care providers enabled us to develop new models and new directions to accommodate the changing needs of our aging population.”

She said she was also delighted by the recent donation by Mark Dunajtschik for a state of the art children’s hospital for the region.

Musa said Chin had previously worked as the deputy director-general at the Ministry of Health and as a health adviser for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Ms Chin brought twenty years of public service experience to the job.

NZNO Organiser for Wellington, Georgia Choveaux said on behalf of the DHB’s nurses she wanted to acknowledge Chin’s partnership-based approach to working with the nurses’ organisation.  “We found her to be a CE always willing to engage with us on the issues that mattered most. Many will be upset at this bad news,” she said.




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