19 Feb 2009

Board's accountability under fire

11:22 pm on 19 February 2009

The editor of a community watchdog newspaper in Hawke's Bay has expressed concern about the public accountability of the district health board's new governance board.

A year ago, former health minister David Cunliffe sacked board members and installed a commissioner who appointed three assistant commissioners.

In November, Health Minister Tony Ryall reinstated elected board members to a governance role.

The re-formed governance board met on Wednesday.

Tom Belford from BayBuzz presented a series of public concerns to the meeting and says he was disappointed at the lack of response from the commissioner, Sir John Anderson.

Mr Belford says people need to know what role elected members of the former board will have in deciding the future of health matters in Hawke's Bay.

Meanwhile, figures presented to the Hawke's Bay District Health Board's governance meeting on Wednesday show the financial position has not greatly improved in the past year.

A report from the chief financial officer shows the budget is better than expected, but that the board's deficit is still over $2.6 million compared to $3 million a year ago.