NATIONAL MPs believe more than one head will have to roll in order to restore public confidence in Whanganui District Health Board.
In a Health Select Committee report tabled in Parliament yesterday, National Party members call for a "change of governance" at the WDHB, saying it was a necessary step to restore the Wanganui community's confidence in the board.
The report has come just days after WDHB chairman Patrick O'Connor's resignation on Tuesday, at which time he stated the board needed a fresh start.
However, yesterday National MP and Health Select Committee member Tony Ryall, who called Mr O'Connor the worst-performing DHB chairman at the committee meeting in March, said he believed Mr O'Connor's resignation would not be enough and that the whole board needed to resign.
"We think the minister should put in a commissioner or they need fresh elections," he said.
The board had got into a "vicious cycle" of problems that had led to its recruitment difficulties, which in turn had led to more problems, he said.
"I don't think Mr O'Connor's resignation is going to break that circuit," Mr Ryall said.
"There is a real need to get services at Wanganui improved, and that means new leaders to get that happening ? in this case we've got to make a break with the past to get improvements."
Whanganui MP Chester Borrows said the board's problems were "spread wider" than just Mr O'Connor and that keeping the same board, which operated when those problems were going on, would not help it to progress.
"I think the concern is that the board has got quite a bit of baggage," Mr Borrows said.
"(With elections coming up) the government should reconsider its appointees and whatever baggage they might carry from the debacle of the board acting over the last three years."
However Health Select Committee member and Labour MP Maryan Street said the calls for a change of governance came from a "minority" of four National MPs and were not favoured by the seven other committee members.
"They're the only ones who called for the heads to roll, as it were ? they think that's a way of fixing things. I don't share that view myself," she said.
She believed the DHB was focused on improving things in Wanganui and was making a "real effort''.
"I would personally prefer to support them in doing that, than call for their execution," Ms Street said.
The community would have a chance to choose a new board at this year's elections.
New WDHB chair Kate Joblin said she "did not accept" the National members' views.
"To suggest that a change of governance will somehow suddenly fix the problems we are facing is simplistic and overlooks the skills and experience that collectively the board bring to the table," she said.
"Yes we have our ups and downs, but the board has matured and quite frankly does have the grunt?together with the current team, I know we can get it right."
n Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws has also doubted whether the resignation of WDHB chairman Patrick O'Connor would make a difference to problems at the DHB.
"While I appreciate that Patrick is taking responsibility for the numerous blunders that have occurred these past three years, the reality is that he did not make them ? the problems remain systemic and at a senior management level," he said.
"The council remains concerned at health and hospital issues affecting our citizens and we will continue to monitor developments at the DHB ? it is but five months until new DHB elections, I'm sure Wanganui will cast its judgement and then we might start afresh."
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