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22 Jan 2020

The AMA warmly welcomes today’s announcement that the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, will be appointed Secretary of the Department of Health.

Professor Murphy will take over from Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM, Secretary since 2017, whose retirement takes effect from 28 February.

Dr Bartone said that Professor Murphy is an inspired choice as new Secretary.

“Professor Murphy is a medical doctor, a health administrator, a company director, and former President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology,” Dr Bartone said.

“He will bring a highly-appropriate and unique mix of skills and experience to his new position.

“Brendan has been a respected, knowledgeable, and effective Chief Medical Officer, and the AMA has enjoyed a productive and professional working relationship with him in that role.

“He has been an active and informative leader and great communicator, as exemplified by his rapid response to the current Coronavirus emergency coming out of China.

“The AMA looks forward to working closely with Professor Murphy in further improving health services for the Australian people.”

Professor Murphy will be the first medical doctor to serve as Secretary of the Federal Department of Health. The last doctor to head health was Dr Gwyn Howells, who held the position of Director General from 1973-1982.

Among other roles and achievements, Professor Murphy was formerly CMO and director of Nephrology at St Vincent’s Health, and sat on the Boards of Health Workforce Australia, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Dr Bartone also paid tribute to Ms Beauchamp for her services to health and the public service.

“Glenys Beauchamp is a dedicated public servant who will be remembered for her commitment to include the many medical and health organisations in a cooperative and friendly working relationship with the Department of Health,” Dr Bartone said.

“Ms Beauchamp consulted very closely with all the key stakeholders in health to work for positive outcomes for patients and the community.

“The AMA wishes her well in her retirement,” Dr Bartone said.


22 January 2020

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

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Published: 22 Jan 2020