National Party Health Spokesperson Dr Jonathan Coleman says the new Health Minister is jeopardising the tough timetable he has set himself for the Dunedin Hospital rebuild with the sacking of two members of the Southern Partnership Group.

“Dr Clark has been very critical of the Dunedin Hospital Rebuild and has set himself some tough timelines,” Dr Coleman says.

“The announcement of the ultimate Dunedin Labour Party political insider and former Health Minister Pete Hodgson as chair of the Southern Partnership Group is exactly the wrong move for progressing the rebuild.

“Andrew Blair has done an excellent job as chair of the Southern Partnership Group and Tony Lanigan added professional expertise that has now been thrown out the window with the appointment of Clark’s political mentor and predecessor as MP for Dunedin North as well as another local person to the Southern Partnership Group.

“It now means that the shape of the rebuild will be determined by political interests rather than what is best in the long-term for the people of the Southern region.

“It’s also further evidence that Clark is going to rely on former Labour Health Ministers to tell him what to do.

“This is the start of problems in the delivery of the rebuild and it is not a good move for the people of the Southern region.”

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