O'Brien named as new HSE chief


A new head for the Health Service Executive was announced this morning by the Minister for Health James Reilly

Tony O’Brien, chief operating officer of the Special Delivery Unit (SDU) at the Department of Health has been appointed acting chief executive pending legislation in the autumn to confirm his position as director general of the organisation.

He will replace outgoing chief executive Cathal Magee who offered his resignation last week.

Mr O’Brien (49) from Louth was appointed to the SDU in July 2011. He had previously worked as director of Breastcheck, the national breast screening programme and of CervicalCheck, the national cervical screening programme.

He worked in various roles at the HSE National Cancer Control Programme between 2006 and 2011 and he was chief executive of the Irish Family Planning Association from December 1991 to August 2002.

Announcing the appointment, Minister James Reilly said MrO’Brien had 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,” he said.

“I am satisfied that Tony O’Brien has the qualities needed to drive the essential reform required to ultimately end our two-tier health system. He also has the strategic ability to manage an enhanced architecture of financial control now being placed in the HSE.”

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