Deputy chief medical officer, Professor Aidan Halligan, who until recently held the post of joint senior responsible officer (SRO) for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), will no longer take up his position as chief executive designate of the Irish Health Services Executive (HSE).
E-Health Insider had learned that Professor Halligan made the decision to decline the HSE post for personal and family reasons. He was due to start work on 31 January, shortly after the HSE takes over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Irish Health Service.
A spokesperson for the Irish Health Service told EHI: "The Táiniste (deputy prime minister) regrets Professor Aidan Halligan’s decision not to take up the post as Chief Executive of the HSE. She respects his decision."
Interviewed in the Irish Times the executive chairman of the HSE, Kevin Kelly, denied that Prof Halligan’s decision was related to his remuneration or to the issue of who would control health service finances under the new system. "It had emerged over the last few months that he had personal, family issues," Kelly told the Irish Times.
Prof Halligan has stepped down as joint SRO for the NPfIT, and has not yet been replaced, leaving Richard Granger, NHS IT director general as the sole SRO for the programme.
The Department of Health confirmed to EHI: "Yes, he will be continuing as deputy chief medical officer." He would not be returning to the position of senior responsible officer at the NPfIT.