12 Jun 2015

Southern DHB rejects commissioner solution

11:18 am on 12 June 2015

The Southern District Health Board says it is unlikely a commissioner would do a better job of managing the district's funds.

Dunedin Hospital.

Dunedin Hospital. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has warned the board might be replaced with a commissioner because of its poor financial performance.

Its deficits have been growing since it was formed by merger in 2010, and its forecast shortfall for this financial year is about $27 million.

But the board's chair Joe Butterfield said a commissioner would have only about 18 months in the role before the next local body elections.

"Well they (the board) believe that they can do as well as a commissioner given the time that the commissioner's got to do it in."

Mr Butterfield said he supported choosing a local person for the role if the decision to appoint a commissioner was made.

He said the board had responded to Dr Coleman and was waiting for his decision.