This week we will have the Chair of the CDHB, Sir John Hansen, speaking on the Board and how it proposes to address the massive challenge they have right now with 5 key senior staff having resigned. Two temporary appointments to key positions were announced on Friday.
After our last session I wrote to the Board of CDHB and asked if anybody was prepared to come to the Tuesday Club and tell us how we have, as a Province, ended up in the current mess. I received a number of replies from Board members, including from the Chair.
One Board member, Andy Dickerson, wrote that he has been involved in health for 35 years and has been elected 5 times as the Board member. He has worked with 11 CEO’s and David Meates has been the best. However, he feels we need to move on. The end of his email said:
While I am deeply upset at the departure of David Meates, I cannot continue to grieve his departure. Our focus must now be on the future. There is urgent work to be done to keep the CDHB focused and operating:
- We are still in a global pandemic that continues to be a huge threat to our community.
- The CDHB has very recently taken possession of the largest hospital build in New Zealand’s history, including the largest radiology & imaging department in the southern hemisphere. There is a very complex migration of patients and services to occur over coming weeks. At the same time as we are migrating, we must also keep all our health services functioning in their current locations. This is a major undertaking.
- The next stages in our hospital redevelopment are still under consideration by the Minister of Health. There is still considerable work to be done to ensure our hospital buildings are fit for purpose and meet the future health needs of our community.
- Lastly, despite being the largest organisation in the South Island the CDHB has yet to reach agreement with our shareholding Ministers (the Ministers of Finance and Health) on a budget for the 2020/21 financial year.
Other Board members have either spoken to me on the phone, or written saying that they support Sir John speaking on their behalf. We need all of them to be the best advocates we can have to ensure we continue to receive the services which the current CDHB administration has delivered so brilliantly.