Top special counsel to head up NSW spending inquiry

5 minute read

With experience on the Ruby Princess inquiry, Richard Beasley is no stranger to the ins and outs of NSW Health.

Richard Beasley SC has been appointed by the NSW government as commissioner of an inquiry into healthcare funding in the state.

Mr Beasley’s past experience includes as special counsel assisting for the Ruby Princess inquiry and for the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission, as well as commissioner of public inquiries into the Blue Mountains and Auburn Councils.

The inquiry will look into NSW Health’s governance and accountability structure, its health services funding and ways to address rising costs. The inquiry’s report will be due to NSW governor Margaret Beazley by 24 August 2024.

Items under consideration include the structure of LHDs, how the department distributes funding to public hospitals and primary care services and strategies to curb rising costs and minimise waste.

The inquiry will also assess whether existing funding arrangements place an over-reliance on hospital-based care in emergency departments and whether these arrangements support or limit access to primary care services.

Positions vacant

The Australian Digital Health Agency is looking to fill two meaty roles.

The first is that of chief technology officer, to fill the big shoes of Professor Mal Thatcher who left the post early in July.

The CTO reports to the CEO, and manages the technology services division of the Agency.

The TSD has four branches covering technology operations, planning and delivery, services and information security. ​ It oversees the delivery and operation of My Health Record and other elements of national digital health infrastructure and services, including a contact centre. 

The Division is also responsible for stewardship and delivery of modernisation projects and enterprise service management across the Agency and other external stakeholders.

Candidates can be based in Brisbane, Canberra or Sydney and the salary is a cool $289,317 to $353,895 (depending on experience, presumably).

Further details are available here.

The second role up for grabs is chief data analytics officer, reporting to the chief digital officer. The successful applicant will lead the Agency’s research, analytics and data branch and will be responsible for all aspects of data management, analysis, research and insights.

“This is a highly visible leadership role, both within the Agency and with external Commonwealth and state and territory governments, healthcare providers, healthcare customers and industry stakeholders,” says the job description. “The ongoing evolution of data analytics infrastructure (systems and processes) and enrichment of the staff capabilities in data is a core daily focus of your role.”

More details here.

AHPRA is looking for a legal advisor for their criminal offences unit. The role reporting to the senior legal advisor of the unit, providing legal advice and managing a caseload in relation to the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

It’s fulltime, based in Sydney and more details are available here.

There’s still no word on a replacement at the Australian Institute of Digital Health for departed CEO Dr Louise Schaper, who left suddenly on 28 July.

Other advertised jobs of interest: 

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WA Health and Medical Research Strategy advisory panel

The WA Department of Health’s deputy director general Angela Kelly will chair an expert panel to advise the state government on its first health and medical research strategy.

The rest of the panel is made up of:

  • John Van Der Wielen – Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Advisory Council;
  • Professor Ian Everall – WA Health Translation Network;
  • Professor Romola Bucks – UWA;
  • Dr Grant Waterer – East Metropolitan Health Service;
  • Renee Hallam – representing medical research institutes;
  • Professor Kevin Pfleger – UWA;
  • Bronwyn le Grice – Australia’s National Digital Health Initiative;
  • Anthony DeCeglie – Telethon Trust;
  • Deborah Attard Portughes – Women and Infants Research Foundation;
  • Dylan Smith – Philanthropy Australia; and,
  • Glenda Swinbourne – consumer representative.

New CEO for Botanix Pharmaceuticals

Perth and Philadelphia-based synthetic cannabinoid company Botanix Pharmaceuticals has appointed Dr Howie McKibbon as its new CEO.

Dr McKibbon was previously the company’s COO and has extensive experience in dermatology product commercialisation.

The appointment comes at an important time for Botanix with the acceleration of commercial activities in preparation for the launch of sofpironium bromide following its approval by the FDA, expected at the end of September.

Public service news

There were four appointments at the National Disability Insurance Agency:

  • Lisa Short to general manager, delivery and priorities;
  • Jodie Stangel to general manager, specialised service delivery;
  • Desmond Lee to Queensland state manager;
  • Shannon Rees to general manager, strategic communications.

Fleur Champion de Crespigny moved from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to become an assistant secretary, market analysis and data at the Department of Education.

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