‘Strong and pragmatic advocate’ for pharmacy services to retire


Stakeholders have praised the outgoing Secretary of the Department of Health, as a new leader emerges

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday that Glenys Beauchamp PSM has decided to retire from her position as the Secretary of the Department of Health, effective from 28 February 2020.

Mr Morrison praised Ms Beauchamp’s longstanding work in the public service.

“Ms Beauchamp has served the Australian people with distinction over her 21 year career in the Australian Public Service, including nine years at Secretary level, as well as 13 years with the ACT public service, the PM said.

“Ms Beauchamp received the Public Service Medal in 2010 for outstanding public service in coordinating the Australian Government’s response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

“On behalf of all Australians, I thank Ms Beauchamp for her service.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt also offered his “deepest thanks,” saying Ms Beauchamp has been an “outstanding” Secretary of the Department.

“Ms Beauchamp received the Public Service Medal in 2010 for outstanding public service in coordinating the Australian Government’s response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires,” Mr Hunt said.

“In her time as Secretary of Health, she has been instrumental in improving health services for the Australian people, including a focus on mental health, increased medical research, funding life-saving medicines and strengthening our relationships with the health community.

“She has been an excellent leader for the staff of the Health Department and I have valued her advice and commitment to serving the Australian people.

“I wish her well in her retirement.”

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia also paid tribute to Ms Beauchamp.

“Our dealings with her have shown Ms Beauchamp to be totally committed to the principle of universal health care and to ensuring that all Australians have equitable access to the medicines they need,” Mr Tambassis said.

“She has been instrumental in driving the availability of funding for many medicines and also has been a figurehead in pushing for more mental health services to be provided to communities across all of Australia.

“She has been a highly regarded and distinguished career public servant and has adopted a hands-on approach to ensure the best outcomes. This was highlighted by her response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires for which she was awarded the prestigious Public Service Medal.”

Mr Tambassis said Ms Beauchamp has also been a strong and pragmatic advocate for growing community pharmacy services.

“In our dealings with her we found she was very receptive to the need to take pressure off other areas of the health sector by having community pharmacists provide a wider range of services for their patients,” he said.

“She recognised the accessibility of community pharmacies was an important factor in improving the health outcomes of all Australians.

“We wish her well for the future.”

Mr Tambassis also said that the Guild looks forward to working with the current Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, who the PM has recommended for appointment as the new Secretary.

“I am pleased that the current Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, is being recommended for appointment as the new Secretary,” said Mr Hunt.

“Professor Murphy is well respected by the medical profession. He was appointed the Chief Medical Officer in 2016, and prior to that was Chief Executive Officer at Austin Health in Victoria.  He has worked for 40 years in the Australian health system as a doctor, medical researcher and senior executive. 

“He has held a range of Board positions including at the Florey Institute, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

“I believe his appointment will ensure ongoing strong leadership and a focus on the delivery of health services to the Australian community from the Department of Health.”

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