Only a month after the resignation of Health Ministry deputy-director-general in charge of ICT, Alan Hesketh, the director general of health and the ministry’s chief executive, Stephen McKernan, has announced that he will not seek reappointment after his current term expires at the end of July.
No detailed reasons were given in either case, but there has been speculation that the reorganisation of government’s health sector, with the institution of a new National Health Board was a factor in both.
Part of the rationale for the changes was centralising and increased uniformity in business systems, including ICT, across the country’s District Health Boards.
“I've made this announcement now to allow five months for the State Services Commissioner to recruit my replacement,” says McKernan.
“It will also let me focus on managing some of the organisational and system-wide changes that are currently underway,” he says.
He could not be reached for further comment.
“As far as I’m aware [discomfort with the changes] was never part of his rationale,” says Ministry spokesman Spiro Anastasiou. “When he started the job, he told staff it was not his intention to serve two full terms.”
July 31 will be the end of McKernan’s first term.
Any link to the reorganisation is one of “coincidence”, Anastasiou says; the break between one structure and another means it is a convenient time for him to leave; to set up the changes and leave a fresh chief executive in charge to carry them further.