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Health chief upset DHBs, parliament told

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5 days ago

District Health Board chiefs last week considered passing a vote of no confidence in Director-General of Health Chai Chouah, parliament has been told.

Labour's health spokesman, David Clark, tackled Health Minister Jonathan Coleman on Tuesday about last week's DHB funding fiasco which saw budget money wrongly allocated and then re-allocated.

Mr Chouah apologised to Dr Coleman on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

"When did he first become aware that assembled chairs and chief executives of New Zealand's DHBs on June 15 considered passing a vote of no confidence in Chai Chouah's leadership of his ministry?" Dr Clark asked Dr Coleman.

Dr Coleman replied: "I know they had a pretty vigorous discussion last Thursday but I don't know that they considered passing a motion of no confidence."

Dr Clark then asked whether Dr Coleman would still have confidence in Mr Chouah "if the director-general of his ministry was proven to have lied to a group of senior bureaucrats".

Dr Coleman said the question was hypothetical.

"What I can tell you is I have found Mr Chouah to be an extremely honest person who every day comes to work and does his best to improve the health outcomes of the population."

Dr Clark than wanted to know who was telling the truth: "Chai Chouah who told DHB chairs and chief executives that he had offered his resignation to the minister, or the minister who said he hadn't offered his resignation?"

Dr Coleman said he couldn't recall Mr Chouah offering his resignation.

"The fact is he doesn't need to offer his resignation, this is a technical error, it doesn't change the overall allocation of funding for DHBs and Mr Chouah has done a very good job for New Zealand health over a very long period of time."

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