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Secretary of New South Wales Health

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Secretary of New South Wales Health
Elizabeth Koff
AppointerNew South Wales Minister for Health

The Secretary of New South Wales (NSW) Health is the executive director of the NSW Ministry of Health. The Secretary oversees the day-to-day operation of the Ministry and directly reports to the Minister for Health.

The Secretary has overall operational responsibility for the management and oversight of the NSW Ministry of Health.[1] He or she chairs critical management meetings for the system and meets with chief executives from the entire state health system, among others.[1] He or she is also assisted by the Office of the Secretary.[1]


The inaugural Director-General (Secretary) of NSW Health was Robert Thomas Paton, who was appointed in 1913.[2]


The functions and responsibilities of the Secretary for NSW Health are defined per section 122 of the NSW Health Services Act 1997.[3] These are:

  • (a) to facilitate the achievement and maintenance of adequate standards of patient care within public hospitals and in relation to other services provided by the public health system,
  • (b) to facilitate the efficient and economic operation of the public health system consistent with the standards referred to in paragraph (a),
  • (c) to inquire into the administration, management and services of any public health organisation,
    • (c1) to provide governance, oversight and control of the public health system and the statutory health organisations within it,
  • (d) to cause public health organisations (including public hospitals controlled by them) to be inspected from time to time,
  • (e) to recommend to the Minister what sums of money (if any) should be paid from money appropriated from the Consolidated Fund in any financial year to any public health organisation,
  • (f) to enter into performance agreements with public health organisations, to review the results of organisations under such agreements and to report those results (and make recommendations about the results) to the Minister,
    • (f1) to give directions to statutory health organisations,
  • (g) such other functions as may be conferred or imposed by or under this Act.

Further, section 113 of the Act provides that the Secretary:

  • (1) [The Secretary] may inquire into the administration, management and services of any organisation or institution providing health services (other than a public health organisation) if those services are wholly or partly funded with money paid from the Consolidated Fund.
  • (2) However, the Secretary cannot make any inquiry under this section in respect of a private health facility or nursing home.
  • (3) The Secretary may delegate the conduct of any inquiry under this section to any other person.
    • Note: Section 49 of the Interpretation Act 1987 contains general provisions relating to the delegation of functions.
  • (4) Nothing in this section prevents the Secretary inquiring into the administration, management and services of any public health organisation under section 122 (c).

List of directors-general and secretaries of NSW Health

Director-General/Secretary of NSW Government Party Period Background
Debora Picone[4] Iemma ministry
Rees ministry
Keneally ministry
Labor 2007–2011[5][6] Nurse
Mary Foley[7][8][9][10] O'Farrell ministry
Baird ministry
Liberal 2011–2016[11] Businessperson[12][13]
Elizabeth Koff Baird ministry
First Berejiklian ministry
Liberal 2016–Present Public servant[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Our Structure". New South Wales Ministry of Health.
  2. ^ "The Ministry of Health" (PDF). New South Wales Ministry of Health. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-06-23.
  3. ^ Health Services Act 1997 (NSW), s. 122.
  4. ^ "Public Defender" (22 September 2010). "The Director-General of Health and her "meet the people" tour — by Socrates". How NOT to make friends and influence people!.
  5. ^ Picone, Debora (1 May 2011). "The public health system, my life's work: the departing Director-General of NSW Health, Debora Picone, AM, reflects on the significant improvements to patient care and safety achieved over the past four years and commends the NSWNA on its tough but responsible campaign for nurse-to-patient ratios". The Lamp.
  6. ^ Nicholls, Sean; Patty, Anna (10 February 2012). "Heat on Skinner over sacking". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ "Mary Foley: Full summary". Chief Executive Women. Archived from the original on 2014-01-10.
  8. ^ Sweet, Melissa (22 November 2011). "Why Mary, Kylie and I may prefer to be known as Doctor..." Croakey.
  9. ^ "Professor Mary Foley". University of Western Sydney.
  10. ^ Knott, Matthew (21 October 2011). "Let the doctor debate begin". Power Move. The Power Index. Archived from the original on 2014-01-10.
  11. ^ "Secretary of NSW Health". New South Wales Ministry of Health.
  12. ^ "Speakers - SimHealth 2011". Simulation Australia.
  13. ^ "MQ&A: Dr Mary Foley, Director-general of NSW Health, 3 April 2011". Medical Questions and Answers.
  14. ^ "Elizabeth Koff appointed to lead NSW Health". NSW Government. Department of Premier and Cabinet. Retrieved 19 April 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 April 2021, at 17:38
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