HEALTH Service Executive chief Prof Brendan Drumm says he will not seek to have his contract renewed at the end of next year.
Prof Drumm said he had made it clear when he first took the job as head of the health authority that he would hold the reins for a five-year period.
He decided from day one to take on the huge challenge of changing the system over the period of his contract.
“We have to keep a focus on a deadline, or nothing gets done,” he said on RTÉ Radio yesterday.
And he warned that next year would be critical because of the changes HSE management were trying to achieve.
“I won’t be seeking a renewal of my contract next year. But that does not mean that over the next year I don’t have a huge job to do and I am very dependant on managers up and down the system and indeed the clinician leaders to work with me to that end point.”
Asked why he was going, Prof Drumm said when he took the top position he was committed to doing his bit for Ireland in changing the health service and have it driven by clinicians – nurses as well as doctors.
“I believe there is a huge amount more to be done, but I always have a real fear that somebody stays too long doing something and 10 years to me is actually too long for somebody to keep inspiring a system,” he said.
Prof Drumm also confirmed that the Department of Health had instructed him to draw up plans to cut next year’s budget by at least an additional €800m.
He warned that the health authority would have to cut at least 6,000 jobs in the coming years if substantial savings could not be achieved.
He said the health service was in the midst of transformation. “We have delivered between €5m and €600m in savings per year over the last couple of years,” he said.
“We now have a fabulous primary care infrastructure going in across this country.”
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