The Health Minister says he has no plans to replace the head of the West Coast District Health Board, who has now been absent for half the time he has been appointed as chairman.

Dr Paul McCormack was put in charge in late 2010, but after chairing the board for 12 months he went off sick last November and has not been back since.

One year on, acting chairman Peter Ballantyne remains at the helm.

The Greymouth Star asked Health Minister Tony Ryall if he had any plans to replace Dr McCormack.


"I've been most happy with Mr Ballantyne as acting chair," Mr Ryall replied. "There are no plans to replace Dr McCormack, who we expect will be resuming the role early next year."

In March, Mr Ballantyne said he hoped Dr McCormack would be back in June.

Dr McCormack has previously declined to comment on his ailment.

He has not been paid by the DHB since March.

- The Greymouth Star