Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) welcomed the appointment of the former chief executive of the North Eastern Health Board, Dr Ambrose McLoughlin, as the new secretary general at the Department of Health.
“I am delighted to see a person of such impressive experience take the helm at the Department of Health at a time of vital importance for the health service. The Government has set out an ambitious programme of reform for the health service; this body of work is already underway and I am confident that Dr Loughlin will be well disposed to continue its implementation.
“I also think it is encouraging that the Government has chosen someone who is considered an ‘outsider’ to come in and run the Department. The Government has shown, through the recent appointed of John Moran to the Department of Finance, that it is determined to take a fresh approach to these appointments by selecting people who are best suited to the job at hand.
“Dr McLoughlin has extensive experience working in the Irish health service. Before his most recent role as chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, Dr Loughlin served in a number of roles over 30 years, working his way from practitioner to chief executive.
“During his time as chief executive officer of the North Eastern Health Board, from 2000 to 2004, he played a central role in dealing with complaints made against Dr Michael Neary at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. He has also previously advised the Department of Health on a number of key public health matters, including managing the threat of Sars.
“I welcome this injection of fresh blood into the Department of Health. Dr McLoughlin’s appointment was vetted by the Top Level Appointments Committee, which considered applications from both inside and outside the civil service. The Government is utterly determined to completely overhaul the way health care is delivered in this country; Dr Ambrose will now play a key role in this challenging process.”