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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019
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Paul Reid is the HSE's new director general

Varadkar said that Reid “developed a strong reputation as a dynamic and ambitious leader, who was always up for a challenge”.

Paul Reid, former Chief Operations Officer at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, was announced as HSE DG today.
Paul Reid, former Chief Operations Officer at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, was announced as HSE DG today.
Image: samboal

THE NEW DIRECTOR General of the HSE has been confirmed as Paul Reid.

He’ll be taking over from Tony O’Brien, who stepped down in May last year – months before his retirement in August.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar welcomed Reid’s appointment today, and said that he had worked with Fingal County Council, in Eircom and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

During his time there, he said that “Paul developed a strong reputation as a dynamic and ambitious leader, who was always up for a challenge, drove restructuring, controlled costs, delivered results and managed industrial relations well”.

Reid himself said of the news today: “Feeling humbled, honoured and privileged to have been appointed as the Director General of the HSE and working with a workforce and new board, hugely committed to health care.

“Leaving Fingal County Council with a heavy heart but proud of the staff and the citizens we serve.”

Ireland’s health service has been marred by scandals in the first few months of the year: long waiting lists, the inflated costs of the National Children’s Hospital, and the backlog of just under 80,000 CervicalCheck smear tests still waiting to be tested are among the controversies Reid will face as the new Director General. 

Welcoming the announcement, Harris said that “the appointment of Paul Reid comes at an exciting time for the health service with a clear policy direction as outlined by Sláintecare, record investment and a major capital programme.

“We now have the key building blocks for a health service that the public deserve as he brings his extensive skill set to this role. He has proven himself to be a leader in public service and has a track record of reform.”

Varadkar added: “For the first time in a long time, we have the resources, we have the plan and we have the people to move forward”.

The former director of the HSE and minister for health Simon Harris, had a less-than-ideal relationship; in an interview with the Sunday Business Post held after O’Brien’s departure from the Director General role, O’Brien accused Harris of being a “frightened little boy”; he also said he had a “crunchy” relationship with Varadkar.

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