New head has family planning background
ORIGINALLY FROM Connemara, Co Galway, the incoming head of the Health Service Executive, Tony O’Brien (49), has a background in family planning.
He served as chief executive of the Irish Family Planning Association from December 1991 to August 2002. He held the same role in the UK Family Planning Association from May 1995 to April 1996.
He is currently chief operating officer at the Department of Health’s Special Delivery Unit (SDU), set up last year to tackle waiting lists in the health system. He was appointed by Minister for Health James Reilly last July.
He has also been chief executive of the National Treatment Purchase Fund since December 2011. The body was subsumed into the SDU as part of the reorganisation of the health system.
Mr O’Brien has been a member of the management advisory committee of the Department of Health since October 2011 and has been a member of the HSE board since March this year.
He is also adjunct associate professor of health policy and management at Trinity College Dublin.
Before working with the SDU, Mr O’Brien had been chief executive of the National Cancer Screening Service as well as serving as director of both BreastCheck and CervicalCheck, the national breast and cervical cancer screening programmes.
He also held roles in the HSE National Cancer Control Programme from 2006 to May 2011, including the position of associate director.
Mr O’Brien has an MSc in management practice from Trinity College Dublin.
He lives in Co Louth and is married with two children.