Wednesday 23 January 2019

HSE Director General Tony O'Brien will leave job this summer - 'it's been a unique privilege'

HSE Director General Tony O’Brien. Photo: Damien Eagers
HSE Director General Tony O’Brien. Photo: Damien Eagers

Eilish O’Regan

Tony O’Brien has announced he will leave his post as Director General of the Health Service Executive in the summer.

He said he will not seek a renewal of his €186,000 a year contract when it  expires.

Mr O'Brien has been at the helm of the health service since 2012 .

In a video address that he sent to HSE staff today, Mr O’Brien said he discussed his decision with Health Minister Simon Harris last summer.

He told staff of the “unique privilege” it has been “to lead the health service and its staff through its most challenging period.”

He described how “health service staff of all disciplines, have shown the resilience necessary to see the service through those tough times and enabled it to emerge more efficient and effective than it had been, despite the increasing population needs and demands”.

He told staff “since August 2012 – working  together – we have achieved quite a lot in difficult circumstances. We have managed to keep the health services running as efficiently as we possibly could throughout the recessionary period and as a result of all of your efforts we have delivered increased services each year including those years when resources were still reducing”.

Mr O'Brien added: “while we still have quite a way to go, there has been considerable progress in important areas such as for example the establishment of the National Women and Infants’ Health Programme; the e-health and electronic health records programme; the development of a long-awaited new architecture for ICT and logistics, the introduction of the Open Disclosure Policy and how we respond today in comparison to the past when things go wrong.”

He also pointed to achievements  such as stroke services, cardiac care, cancer care, acute medicine, emergency management and improvements and reinvestment in the National Ambulance Service.

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