As the dust settles on Australia’s knife-edge national elections and we await an announcement on who the next Health Minister will be, there’s been another shake-up in the upper echelons of the Health Department with the retirement of Chief Medical Officer Chris Baggoley AO.
Professor Baggoley will be replaced by Austin Health CEO Brendan Murphy as chief advisor on medical matters to the new Health Minister and the Department.
Professor Murphy is a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne, as well as a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians and Australian Institute of Company Directors.
He was formerly CMO and director of nephrology at St Vincent’s Health, and sits on the boards of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Professor Murphy is also independent chair of Health Services Innovation Tasmania, a former president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology and former deputy chair of Health Workforce Australia. He starts in the CMO role on October 4, 2016.
“Professor Murphy is an experienced clinician but also highly experienced in stakeholder management, strategic direction-setting and policy advice,” said Health Department secretary Martin Bowles of the appointment.
Bowles paid tribute to outgoing CMO Professor Baggoley, who has been in the role since April 2011, describing him as an “influential figure in the nation’s response to numerous challenges and threats to our health”.
“In particular, he has been outstanding in progressing the nation’s response to antimicrobial resistance, vaccine preventable disease, the risk of new communicable diseases, and improved screening and early diagnosis of non-communicable diseases such as cancer,” Bowles said.
Among Baggoley’s achievements highlighted by Bowles:
- leading Australia’s response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and making a significant contribution to the global response as a member of the WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Ebola advising the WHO Director-General;
- global leadership on MERS-CoV as chair of the WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on MERS 2013-present;
- supervision of the Australian response to and readiness for Zika virus; and
- stewardship of legislative and cooperative frameworks including the first National Framework for Communicable Disease Control, the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy and the Biosecurity Act 2015 which replaced Australia’s 1908 Quarantine Act
Baggoley was formerly head of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and CMO of South Australia’s Department of Health. He is an emergency physician and ex-president of the Australian College of Emergency Medicine.
Outgoing Australian CMO Professor Chris Baggoley
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