THE chair of Hunter Medicare Local, Karen Howard, has resigned from the board of the embattled primary healthcare organisation.
A statement issued on Tuesday said her decision was made “due to her need to focus on other commitments and imminent new directions”.
Her shock departure comes two months after the resignation of former CEO, Carol Bennett.
Ms Bennett was the third chief in less than 12 months.
It is a critical time for Hunter Medicare Local, which has no funding guaranteed past June 30 next year as they transition into ‘‘primary health networks’’.
“I am very honoured to have had this opportunity to serve the Hunter community as the HMLBoard Chair,” Ms Howard said.
“The past five years have been a challenging and dynamic time in primary health care and it has been my privilege to have played a part in Australia’s healthcare reforms.
“It is also pleasing to leave behind an organisation that has been found, by a recent review by the Department of Health, to have exemplary practices in the areas of finance and governance.
“I am particularly grateful for having had the opportunity to work with a very dedicated and committed staff, who have the best interest of the health of the Hunter at heart and who work tirelessly to make improvements to the way services are delivered.
“Further, I am confident that the strength of both the Board and the Executive team will ensure the great work will continue,”