When Croakey asked a range of health leaders about what sort of person they would like to see appointed as the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care, the responses were diverse and insightful, informing three articles published last month.
We have now compiled these articles into a special report, in the hope this will be useful for readers – and perhaps also the new Secretary and their colleagues. Please download the report and share it with your colleagues and networks.
Alison Barrett writes:
The next Secretary for the Department of Health and Aged Care will be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, brave, evidence-informed, a systems thinker, and committed to equity, values-based healthcare and culturally safe workplaces.
In addition, they will have the intellectual horsepower and aptitude to gain a quick understanding of the complexity of the health and aged care system, and strong skills in guiding policy development.
This is according to 16 Australian health leaders surveyed by Croakey for a series of articles on the type of expertise and qualities required for the role of Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care.
Croakey conducted the survey, recognising the upcoming retirement of Professor Brendan Murphy as an opportunity to reflect and re-imagine the role and its scope, including how to help achieve much-needed structural reform in health and aged care.
Responses suggested the new Secretary faces a big agenda, in delivering on recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission, strengthening primary healthcare and the health workforce, implementing reform priorities from the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and committing to reducing emissions in the health sector, as well as promoting health in all policies.
Adjunct Professor Judith Dwyer, College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University, said the electorate is looking to the Government for real improvement in this critical portfolio.
“The Government is engaged in the very difficult task of rebuilding capability in the national public service, including in the health and aged care portfolios,” she said. “The new Secretary must be able to make a major contribution to this rebuilding if the Government is to retain its reputation as the better steward for health and aged care.”
Or, as one contributor put it, “the new Secretary will have to be a ‘burger with the lot’”. That is, “a bold reformer who can forge strong partnerships, manage risk, and protect and develop their staff”.
This report includes responses to the survey, some related Twitter commentary, and the questions that were distributed.
Download the report here.
Read the first article: It’s a critical time for health leadership. So who should replace Brendan Murphy?
Read the second article: Looking for fresh leadership in health and aged care
Read the third article: New health and aged care chief has a huge task ahead – so what are the priorities?
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