Rob CallisterA mini-reshuffle in the Isle of Man’s Council of Ministers has seen a backbench MHK become the new health minister.

Rob Callister promised to look at “areas of concern” such as staff shortages within Manx Care.

The rejig sees former health minister Lawrie Hooper take charge of the enterprise department.

That portfolio had been in the care of Chief Minister Alfred Cannan following Tim Crookall’s resignation in July.

Mr Callister said health services on the island were going through a period of “transformation” and issues highlighted in recent inspections would “tell us where we need to focus our attention”.

A recent watchdog report discovered a “toxic” culture of bullying and blame in the Isle of Man’s emergency department at Noble’s Hospital.

The new health minister leaves his role as chairman of Manx Utilities and, subject to the approval of Tynwald, MHK Tim Johnston will take over the position.

Mr Hooper, who spent five years as a member the enterprise department, returns as minister.

He said “in an ideal world” he would have stayed on in his former role to “drive through” reforms such as a plan to slash Isle of Man waiting lists with £18m.

Despite admitting mixed emotions about the switch, Mr Hooper said he was “happy” go where “the chief thinks I’m needed most”.

Mr Cannan said both men will be able to draw on past experiences to deliver better services and help “implement a new economic strategy for the island”.

“This is vital if we are to ensure continued prosperity for our people” he added.

Source: bbc.co.uk