Health chief resigns

Canberra parliament house

There’s a vacancy at the top at the Department of Health, as Secretary Martin Bowles has announced his resignation

Stakeholders including the Health Minister and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia thanked Mr Bowles for his work in the health sector.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia said that it acknowledges the “significant” contribution of Health Department Secretary Martin Bowles PSM to the health and pharmaceutical sectors during his three-year tenure, and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

The National President of the Guild, George Tambassis, said: “As Secretary of the Department, Mr Bowles oversaw the Department of Health’s key role in the negotiation and rolling out of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement, which includes significant benefits for patients, for the health system and for community pharmacy”.

Health Minister Greg Hunt also thanked Mr Bowles for his almost 40 years of work in the public service.

Before being appointed as Secretary of the Department of Health in October 2014, Mr Bowles served in the positions of Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Deputy Secretary in the Department of Climate Change and Energy, and the Department of Defence.

Prior to joining the Commonwealth Public Service, Mr Bowles worked for the Queensland and NSW Governments.

Martin Bowles
Martin Bowles.

“Since I came into the Health Portfolio earlier this year, I have deeply valued Martin’s advice and guidance,” Mr Hunt said.

“In particular, I would like to thank Martin for his significant contribution to the agreement with Medicines Australia which was a fundamental part of both the Health sector compacts and the Budget.

“This is a significant reform which ensures that Australians have access to the world’s best medicines with a sustainable Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

“Martin has also undertaken significant organisational change within the Department of Health, investing in the capability of staff to better service government projects for the benefit of the Australian community.”

The Australian Self Medication Industry also thanked Mr Bowles for his years of service.

“ASMI enjoyed a collaborative relationship with Martin since 2014,” said ASMI CEO, Deon Schoombie.

“We wish Martin well and look forward to working with his successor on key issues such as  switch, S3 advertising, incentives for research and development in the non-prescription medicines industry, and access to medicines.”

Mr Bowles’ resignation is effective 1 September 2017.

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