Tuesday, 21 February 2023
I WELCOME the resignation today of controversial and long-standing Hunter New England Health CEO Michael DiRienzo.
My issues with Mr DiRienzo, on behalf of my communities, are well known and documented. His departure is well overdue – he should have been shown the door years ago.
Mr DiRienzo’s leadership and decision making was, in large part, the inspiration for the 16,000 signature petition to split the health district and unshackle our region from an increasingly Newcastle-centric culture and spending regime.
The culture he created and fostered in the health district was toxic and while I wish him well personally, professionally there would hardly be a person involved in the health sector in our region who will miss him at all.
Mr DiRienzo’s resignation couldn’t come at a better time, with the innovative GP Single Employer Model approved for our region just last week. Its successful implementation will require a radical change in attitude and service levels from Hunter New England Health.
The appointment of interim CEO Tracey McCosker, who comes from outside Hunter New England Health, brings the hope of a new way of treating frontline health staff and delivering services to the rural and remote communities of our region.
I congratulate Tracey and wish her all the very best. I look forward to meeting with Tracey soon to discuss a number of matters across the Northern Tablelands.