the waikato district health board has a new chair, mr graeme milne:
Mr Ryall said, "Mr Milne brings extensive management and governance experience to the board of the Waikato DHB.
Mr Milne is a company director and farmer based in Cambridge.
"He is currently director or chairman of several companies across the electricity, insurance, pharmaceutical, fertiliser and dairy sectors," Mr Ryall said.
so, we have a chair with considerable business experience - see here for a list of his current directorships and previous work history. he was also a former "fundraising, communications and marketing manager" of presbytarian support east coast, which would appear to be the only major experience he has with a not-for-profit organisation. the only experience that would be remotely related to the field of medicine is his position as chair of nz pharmaceuticals, an organisation which:
manufactures and exports pharmaceutical intermediates and diagnostics products for the world's leading pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies. It also produces a range of dietary supplements.
it bothers me that a person whose experience is predominantly in the commercial sector, and predominantly in the dairy industry, has been appointed to run our health board. we've had experience of the commercial model being used for public hospitals back in the 1990s, and it wasn't particularly nice. we had got to the stage where patients were having to pay to stay at a public hospital.
i don't believe a commercial model works for public health. i would prefer a board chair who has reasonable experience in the field of medicine, and preferably some previous history with a health board. mr milne is not one of the elected members of the health board, but is being brought in as a government appointee.
the board has a very experienced deputy chair in sally christie, who has been successfully elected three times by the people of this region. it would be interesting to find out why she was overlooked. she may have declined to take the position, but if not, she would have been ideal for the role.
also of interest is the fact that a previous chair with commercial experience, jerry rickman, resigned from the board earlier this year for perceived conflict of interest reasons.