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New head of HSE announced
[Posted: Fri 27/07/2012 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Tony O'Brien has been appointed to fill the new post of Director General with the HSE.
Mr O’Brien, who is currently Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Health Special Delivery Unit, will formally assume the position of Director General once the new legislation allowing for structural changes in the HSE is passed by the Oireachtas in the autumn.
The Department said in the meantime, as Director General-designate, Mr O'Brien will work closely with all relevant figures in the HSE in preparing for the new directorate structure which is being established under that legislation.
The new structure involves the Director General post and six new directorates to run services and take over the functions of the HSE board, which is to be abolished.
Current HSE CEO Cathal Magee has already announced that he is stepping down from his post, and, according to the Department, will do so shortly.
Following this, Tony O'Brien will become acting CEO until the Director General post is created under the new legislation and the CEO post ceases to exist.
Health Minister James Reilly said: "Tony O’Brien has demonstrated, in a range of different areas, a capability of implementing progress. As Chief Operating Officer of the Special Delivery Unit he has worked with stakeholders across the country to put in place measurable improvements."
The Minister added that the urrent financial difficulties will not be allowed to derail the central policy of the Government 'to produce a fairer, more effective and efficient health system as we move to Universal Health Insurance'.
The Minister's reform plan involves abolishing the HSE around 2014 and replacing it with an integrated services agency, prior to the establishment of UHI around 2016.
Dr Reilly thanked Cathal Magee for his commitment to the health service and acknowledged his contributions, 'including maintaining safe health services against the greatest of challenges - major reductions in funding, a significant exodus of staff and a moratorium imposed due to our fiscal difficulties'.
Prior to working with the Special Delivery Unit, Mr O'Brien was Chief Executive of the National Cancer Screening Service. He is also a former head of the Irish Family Planning Association.
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