USC head to lead hospital region

SUNSHINE Coast University's founding vice-chancellor Paul Thomas will head Gympie's new regional hospital board.

Health minister Lawrence Springborg announced the appointment on Friday as part of a state-wide address to Queensland Health's 82,000 staff.

Prof Thomas is one of nine people appointed to chair Queensland's new hospital and health boards throughout the state.

Mr Springborg said the new boards were part of a plan "to bring control of health services closer to the communities they serve."

Prof Thomas was described in the announcement as having "substantial board experience and well-established networks in the Sunshine Coast region."

After successfully establishing the USC, he became its founding vice-chancellor and president.

He was awarded the Order of Australia medal in 2007 for services to higher education.

Mr Springborg said the move to restore local health boards to run their own services was a key commitment of the Newman government.

"This path requires the selection of highly skilled leaders in local communities to chair the boards and help restore community confidence in local health services.

"Devolved decision- making is a key part of the strategy to rebuild Queensland Health.

"These appointees have extensive experience leading organisations across a wide range of industries."

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