22 Nov 2010

Businessman back in health board job

3:25 pm on 22 November 2010

Health Minister Tony Ryall has appointed Hastings businessman Kevin Atkinson as chairperson of Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

Mr Atkinson was chairperson in early 2008 when the health minister in the previous Labour government sacked the board.

David Cunliffe appointed a commissioner and three deputies to take over, but after the election in 2008 Mr Ryall reinstated the sacked board to a governance role.

Mr Atkinson says he wants to make sure the board continues its work in meeting health targets and balancing the books.

He wants to review development of the hospital site in Hastings, which was put aside after the board's sacking, and improve integration between community and hospital care.

Mr Ryall has also installed a single chairperson for district health boards in both Auckland and Wellington.

The widely anticipated move is designed to provide an extra boost to regional collaboration between boards that are neighbours and that are seen to need to co-operate more.

Mr Ryall says Waitemata health board Lester Levy will also chair the Auckland board.

The deputy chairperson of Wellington's Capital and Coast board, Virginia Hope, will also head the Hutt Valley board.

Current Hutt Valley chairperson Peter Glensor is to be the deputy chair in Wellington.

Canterbury GP Paul McCormack is the new chair of the West Coast board.