Sunday 18 February 2018

Cancer tsar to 'consider' health top job

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

OUTGOING cancer tsar Tom Keane has given his strongest signal yet that he is interested in taking over as head of the Health Service Executive (HSE) later this year.

Prof Keane's two-year term as national director of cancer control is now up but he indicated yesterday that he had been involved in talks about the job of HSE chief executive.

That position will become vacant in August when Prof Brendan Drumm steps down.

Asked about his future on RTE's News at One, Prof Keane said he would maintain a strong interest in what happens in Ireland.

Dublin-born Prof Keane, who is in his mid-60s, has been on secondment from his job in Canada since late 2007. He came here to oversee the reorganisation of cancer services.

Health Minister Mary Harney has already indicated that she would like to see him take over as the HSE's chief executive.

Prof Keane had previously been non-committal but yesterday he said if he could contribute to the health service then he would "consider it".

The recommended salary for the new HSE chief executive is €303,000 but this will fall to around €250,000 when the pension levy and pay cuts are included.

However, the Department of Finance can sanction a more lucrative contract if the HSE board decides that it needs to improve its offer.

Irish Independent

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