Search begins for new NSW Health secretary


Dr Mary Foley will be stepping down from her role leading NSW Health in April next year, five years after being elevated by the then newly elected O’Farrell government.

Foley reformed the department into the Ministry of Health, reshaping the portfolio’s centre to better support the minister and abolished clusters while creating a devolution of decision making through Local Health Districts. Under Foley, NSW Health also moved to a new funding model and performance framework based on Activity Based Funding.

New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner, who was sworn into her job only one day before the secretary was appointed, thanked Foley for leading the NSW health system “with distinction”. Skinner added:

“Dr Foley has made an outstanding contribution through her personal leadership qualities, formidable technical and policy expertise and practical experience in managing complex health issues.

“I wish to thank her for assisting me in meeting the challenges which have inevitably arisen as we established a devolved health system, with greater local decision-making and an improved focus on patient outcomes.”

After 35 years in the health system, in both private and public sectors, Foley has also been seen as an influential business leader and was awarded the Centenary Medal by the federal government for services to Australian society in business leadership.

Recruitment for Foley’s successor is underway. We’ll update this post when expression of interest process details are available.

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