New CEO has ‘real passion for healthcare’

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Phil Jamieson has been appointed as the new chief executive of Waitaki District Health Services (WDHS).

Mr Jamieson, who is the executive general manager of development at SBS Bank, will start in the role on August 31, replacing Ruth Kibble who is returning to the South Canterbury District Health Board’s strategic team at the end of this month.

Rural Health associate general manager Debi Lawry, with support from Gore Health chief executive Karl Metzler, will provide cover until Mr Jamieson starts in the role.

Mr Jamieson said he was looking forward to moving to Oamaru with his wife and children, and working with WDHS staff and the wider Waitaki community.

‘‘I have a real passion for healthcare and it is a privilege to join the WDHS team, working to ensure optimum delivery of health services to the Waitaki community,’’ he said.

Mr Jamieson has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in science, specialising in industrial psychology, business and economics.

He started his career in strategy and change consulting, and has held various other roles in finance, aid and development, and multinational contracting in New Zealand, Scotland, England, Australia, and South East Asia.

Originally from Christchurch, Mr Jamieson has been working at SBS Bank in Invercargill since 2012.

Mr Jamieson acknowledged he was a ‘‘lateral appointment’’ to lead a healthcare organisation, but said his professional and personal experience would help him in working alongside staff to make WDHS ‘‘truly special’’.

‘‘In addition, for the last six years, I have been heavily involved in the health and disability sector, primarily brought about by my daughter’s accident which left her paraplegic,’’ he said.

‘‘I have had involvement with the Health and Disability Commission, multiple different health boards, and I have got involved with adaptive [disability] sports including skiing and basketball.’’

WDHS chairman Paul Allison said Mr Jamieson brought ‘‘extensive commercial leadership experience’’ to the role and the board was ‘‘very pleased to secure his services’’.

‘‘He has got an impressive track record across a range of sectors, he is very strong in strategy and communications,” Mr Allison said.

‘‘He brings a strong financial background to the organisation, which we believe will be a valuable asset.

‘‘The [hospital’s] financial challenges still remain, but we’re working actively to address them and we believe his skill set will be really helpful from a management perspective in achieving that.’’

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher welcomed the news of Mr Jamieson’s appointment.

‘‘I look forward to welcoming him to the Waitaki district as he takes up this very important role in our community,’’ Mr Kircher said.

Mr Allison acknowledged outgoing WDHS chief executive Mrs Kibble for her contribution to the organisation since September 2018.

Mrs Kibble was seconded from her role as primary health partnerships director at the South Canterbury District Health Board after the departure of former WDHS chief executive Robert Gonzales.