Tim Mulherin's challenges as Mackay health service chairman

UPDATE READERS REACT:  Our readers put forward some issues they think Mr Mulherin needs to deal with in his new role.

Bec Benson says issues with the car park need to be fixed.

"Also try getting more specialists into the hospital to ease up the amount of people having to go to Townsville," she said.

Ms Benson also said to use the "top floor that is empty, this hospital needs extra beds".

David Connor said security patrols at night at the hospital, not cameras, was something that should be done.

Another thing Mr Mulherin will have to deal with is a development that wants to move Sarina Hospital.

 

UPDATE 2.30PM:  Tim Mulherin said he applied for the Mackay Hospital and Health Service chairman position through an external recruitment agency.

"I went through an interview process and I understand the company then made recommendations around appointments to the board," he said.

"The Minister then rang me today to advise me that he'd like me to take on the role."

The appointment is for 12 months.

Mr Mulherin said as the former State Member for Mackay, he was a principle advocate for the improved health services in the Mackay region.

"It culminated in my key role in obtaining the funding for the new hospital for the region," he said.

"I want to continue on with the wonderful work that the former board had undertaken.

"I look forward to working with my fellow board members and staff, who are one of the great assets of the hospital, to continually improve health services in the Mackay region that will meet our population requirements and the demographics of our community."

Mr Mulherin said he had to be briefed by the service's chief executive officer on issues the hospital was facing.

A spokesman for the Minister said Col Meng was not sacked his tenure for his appointment had finished.

Meanwhile Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said it was great to see a diverse board appointed to lead the Mackay Hospital and Health Service.  

"These appointments reflect the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to ensure we have diverse representation at all levels of leadership for government bodies," he said.  

Mr Dick said the Department of Health had run an extensive recruitment process to attract a diverse range of applicants. More than 900 applications were received state wide for this appointment round.  

He said that the following appointees would take up their positions on the Mackay Hospital and Health Board with effect from May 18 2016:  

• Timothy Mulherin (Chairman) is a former Queensland Government Minister, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Member for Mackay. Mr Mulherin has extensive experience as a leader, in setting strategic direction and in oversight of a large government department. He has experience working in the health sector and is a strong advocate for obstetric and maternity services.

  • Suzanne Brown is a qualified lawyer who was named one of The Courier Mail's "20 Under 40 Business Stars in Queensland" in 2015 and was also included in the Lawyers' Weekly "30 Under 30 Best Lawyers in Australia" in 2014. She has experience working for large organisations, developing strategic direction and monitoring financial performance.  

• Karla Steen has worked as a journalist and communications advisor and has experience in social, government and economic policy, business management, writing, and stakeholder engagement. She has also dedicated much of her time to volunteering.  

• Leeane Heaton is a registered nurse and midwife who brings important health knowledge to the board. Ms Heaton also has experience as an academic having worked for Central Queensland University and the University of Wollongong. She is also an author, contributing to text books on rural, regional and remote health.  

• Darryl Camilleri has extensive board experience in the public and private sectors, having served as deputy chair of Regional Development Australia (Mackay Isaac Whitsunday), and as a councillor and deputy mayor on Mackay Regional Council and chair of the Mackay Chamber of Commerce. Mr Camilleri has almost 30 years' experience as an accountant, and is senior partner at Bennett Partners Chartered Accountants.  

•John Nugent has more than 35 years' experience in the health sector, leading major hospital infrastructure development projects. Mr Nugent is a director of the North Queensland Primary Health Network, chair of the risk management committee for the Centacare Council for the Diocese of Rockhampton, and a member of the Mackay Regional Economic Development Board. He has previously been a senior public servant or executive with the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Mackay, the Mackay Regional Health Authority, the Mackay District Health Service and the former Mackay hospitals board.  

• Professor Richard Murray is Dean of the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University. Professor Murray has special interests in the field of rural and remote medicine, Aboriginal health, tropical medicine, and medical and health professional education. He is immediate past president of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and is a director on the board for the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and the Mackay Hospital and Health Service.  

David Aprile and Dr Helen Archibald remain on the board as their terms have not expired yet.

"I welcome these appointments and look forward to working closely with the board to deliver the best possible health services for people in the Mackay region," Mr Dick said.  

He also thanked board members whose appointments would expire on 17 May 2016 for their service.  

"I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work and dedication of these members," he said.  

"Service as a Hospital and Health Board member is a significant undertaking. I thank them for their service to the local community and wish them well for their future endeavours."    

Former board members included: 

  • Colin Meng (chairman)  
  • Darryl Camilleri (deputy chairman)  
  • Tom McMillan  
  • Professor Richard Murray  
  • John Nugent  
  • Laura Veal    

UPDATE: A Queensland Government spokesperson said a decision on the Mackay Hospital and Health Service chairman position is expected to be made mid-afternoon today.

YESTERDAY: Mackay Hospital and Health Service chairman Col Meng hopes speculation about his future in the role will end tomorrow with an announcement from the State Government.

But Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen is confident the impending announcement will be the chairman will be sacked.

Speaking to the Daily Mercury this afternoon, Mr Christensen said he had heard on "very good authority" Mr Meng would be removed from the role, and if that were true "it would be disastrous".

"Every parameter of the hospital was failing before he came on board," Mr Christensen said.

He said the sacking would be politically charged.

Mr Meng took up the position in 2012, after serving as Mackay Regional Council Mayor from 2008 to 2012.

When contacted for comment this afternoon, Mr Meng said he had not heard officially whether or not he would retain his position, but the board would be gazetted tomorrow.

A spokeswoman for Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said board appointments would be made shortly.

She was not able to comment further.


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