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Professor Breda Smyth appointed as interim chief medical officer

Dr Tony Holohan will resign as Chief Medical Officer on 1 July after 14 years in the role.

Dr Breda Smyth, file photo.
Dr Breda Smyth, file photo.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

PROFESSOR BREDA SMYTH has been appointed to serve as interim chief medical officer at the Department of Health.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced that Prof Smyth will take up her role from 4 July.

It comes as Dr Tony Holohan prepares to step down from the role on July 1 after 14 years.

A competition to find a permanent replacement for Dr Holohan remains ongoing.

Prof Smyth is currently Professor for Public Health Medicine in NUI Galway and consultant in Public Health in HSE West.

She also contributed significantly to Ireland’s Covid-19 response as a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), the Rapid Testing Expert Advisory Group as well as a founding member of the Covid-19 – Irish Epidemiology Modelling Advisory Group (IEMAG).

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Donnelly said: “While the open competition for the permanent filling of the crucial role of chief medical officer has commenced, I am conscious of the need to have in place the required leadership at all times to continue to monitor and combat Covid-19 and other public health threats.

“Professor Smyth brings this considerable experience, excellent leadership ability and extensive public health skillset to the role and I very much look forward to working with her. I thank Professor Smyth for agreeing to fill the role on an interim basis until the completion of an open competition for a permanent CMO.”

Prof Smyth said: “I look forward to the opportunity to advance the public health agenda through important, cross-government initiatives like Healthy Ireland and Slaintecare to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire population including marginalised groups and continuing to address inequities in health.”

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