So the Minister of Health has just dismissed all members of the Board and replacing it with a Commissioner:
Southern DHB Board dismissed – Commissioner appointed
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today written to Southern DHB dismissing all members of the Board and replacing it with a Commissioner.
“The financial problems at Southern DHB are longstanding. I do not have confidence that the current governance arrangements are suitable for delivering on the changes required in Southern DHB,” says Dr Coleman.
“Southern is forecasting a final deficit of $27 million for the current financial year. That figure has effectively doubled in the last six months.
Southern covers the Otago and Southland regions. Here’s some background reading on the problems:
Southern DHB financial crisis lies with underfunding
DHB’s funding below inflation – Labour
Southern hospitals bear the brunt of Government underfunding
Hundreds of DHB workers on less than ‘living wage’
SDHB ‘in extreme difficulties’
Democracy under threat as axe hangs over SDHB
There are real and significant problems in Southern’s jurisdiction, especially around the state of Dunedin Hospital. They stem from underfunding by the government. No doubt a new Commissioner will save money. They will do it by cutting services, and placing further pressure on staff who are already at breaking point.