There has been a change at the top of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, with chair Trevor Johnstone being replaced after a little more than a year on the job, and just a week after some mixed budget messages.

The Ministry of Health is replacing him with David Thompson, a former CEO of Vancouver-based mining giant Teck Cominco.

Theshakeup comes just a week after a series of confusing and sometimes contradictory public statements last week by the health authority about its budget problems.

VCHAofficials had closed three operating rooms in Vancouver, as part of an effort to balance the budget before the end of the fiscal year in March.

But after NDP Leader Carole James alerted the media, the authority first confirmed the cuts, then backed down and reversed them.

Acting health minister Colin Hansen said he was very disappointed with the way the whole issue had been handled, and that the authority would have to balance its budget without cutting services to patients.

On Wednesday, Health Minister George Abbott said he isdisappointed with the authority's efforts to date to eliminate its $40-milliondeficit.

Johnstone had been on the board since 2002, and became chair in December 2005.

Thompson is described as having strong leadership skills and alot of experience managing large, complex organizations.

His is the co-chair of the B.C. Competition Council and is also a member of the BC Progress Board

His appointment is effective immediately.