MRI cash drive a highlight

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012
Chris Fleming
NATASHA MARTIN/ Fairfax NZ
SCDHB's departying chief executive Chris Fleming

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The community's effort in funding a new MRI scanner for Timaru Hospital is one of the highlights for South Canterbury's departing district health board chief executive.

South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) chief executive Chris Fleming will finish with the SCDHB early next year to take on the same role with the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. The move comes five years after Mr Fleming took over from Craig Climo.

He said he had enjoyed his time as chief executive in South Canterbury, but was looking forward to a new challenge.

"I've been extremely impressed with the commitment that staff and health professionals have shown, in both the hospital and the community. I'm also very grateful to the board for their support."

He said highlights of the past five years included developing plans for the district's health services to see it through the next 20 years. He had also enjoyed bringing community health services into a closer relationship with Timaru Hospital, and encouraging clinicians to step into leadership roles to enhance quality, safety and sustainability of health services.

Another highlight was seeing $3 million roll in from the community for an MRI scanner, which will be commissioned early next year.

"South Canterbury District Health Board is recognised for excellence and living within its means, while at the same time providing among the highest level of access to services in the country. I am pleased to be able to leave it well positioned to meet the challenges of the future."

Mr Fleming worked with 650 fulltime staff at the SCDHB. His new role will see him working with 1800 full time staff in Nelson, Blenheim and Murchison.

SCDHB chairman Murray Cleverley said under Mr Fleming's leadership, the SCDHB became one of the country's top DHBs.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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