RHA Transition Process Announced

  • Neil Kirton
Associate Minister of Health

The transition process for moving from four regional health authorities to one health funding body, outlined in the Coalition Agreement, was announced today by Minister of Health Bill English and Associate Minister of Health Neil Kirton.

"What we seek to achieve is a consistent approach to health funding across the country while still retaining a regional presence," the Ministers said.

"In order to move towards this we have set up a Transitional Health Authority which will take over the functions of the four RHA boards. The new funding agency will be set up in mid-1998 as set out in the Coalition Agreement.

"It is important to give certainty to the different health providers who currently contract with the RHAs. They must know where they stand and have clear direction for the future. RHA staff also need some certainty for the future. We must retain skilled staff in the sector, they said.

"In moving towards one funding agency, we want to make sure we build on what works. We have learnt a lot over the last few years and we want to make improvements to the system without losing the gains made.

The Transitional Health Authority will be chaired by Graham Scott, the current chair of the Central Regional Health Authority, with representation from each RHA, the Ministers said.

Last week, the Ministers announced the formation of a Steering Group, which will review the most appropriate structure for the new funding agency. The review will be finished by the end of May.

Both the Transitional Health Authority and the Steering Group will be directly responsible to Health Ministers, they said.

"The Coalition Agreement makes it quite clear where we are heading with the funding of health services and these transition arrangements give certainty to the process of getting there. There are some policy details to be worked through and the Steering Group will do this, the Ministers said.


Transitional Health Authority
Board Directors
Dr Graham Scott (chair)

Dr Graham Scott is the chair of the Central RHA. He was the Secretary of the Treasury until 1993 and now operates his own private consulting business.

Denise Henare

Denise Henare is a director of the Northern RHA. She is a practising Barrister and Solicitor.

Harold Titter

Harold Titter is the chair of the Northern RHA. He was previously the Commissioner of the Auckland Area Health Board and also the Secretary for Defence. He has extensive board experience in both the public and private sectors

Sir Ross Jansen

Sir Ross Jansen is the chair of the Midland RHA. He was previously the Commissioner of the Waikato Area Health Board and is a former Mayor of Hamilton.

Michael Sewell

Michael Sewell is a director of the Central RHA. He was previously a member of the Manawatu-Wanganui Area Health Board as well as holding a number of private sector directorships.

Dr Sharon Kletchko

Dr Sharon Kletchko is a director of the Southern RHA. She works as a medical specialist in Western Bay Health and is a director of the Medical Council of New Zealand. She was previously the Chief Medical Adviser in the Ministry of Health.

Stan Rodger

Stan Rodger is the chair of the Southern RHA. He is also secretary to the Division of Health Sciences, Otago University. He is a former MP and Cabinet Minister and has wide public sector experience and involvement in health sector education.

Co-opted members
Sally Wilkinson

Sally Wilkinson is a director and the deputy chair of the Midland RHA. She was previously chair of the Bay of Plenty Area Health Board, is a qualified nurse and works as a community development consultant.

Heather Allan

Heather Allan is a director of the Central RHA and is also a city councillor in Palmerston North. She has worked in both the health and social welfare sectors and has been involved with a broad range of disability support organisations including IHC and New Zealand Disabilities Resource Centre

Lyall Thurston

Lyall Thurston is a director of the Midland RHA. He is a businessman in Rotorua and has been involved as a board member or trustee in a range of disability support organisations including CCS and Life Education Trust. He has also been the chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Special Education.