Press Release

Minister Varadkar announces appointment of new Secretary General of Department of Health

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has announced the appointment of Jim Breslin as Secretary General of the Department of Health. Mr Breslin rejoins the Department from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs where he has served as its inaugural Secretary General for the last 3 years. He replaces Dr Ambrose McLoughlin who is moving to a new role leading the implementation of the Healthy Ireland initiative ahead of his retirement next year.

“I am delighted that Jim Breslin has accepted this appointment as Secretary General. He is returning to the Department of Health, where he is highly regarded by his management colleagues and staff alike, at a time of great change for the health service. With this change comes significant challenges and I am confident that, under Jim’s leadership, the Department can meet these challenges head on and deliver a better health service to the people of Ireland. I look forward to working with him. I want to acknowledge the leadership of Dr Ambrose McLoughlin over the past three years and wish him well in his role with Healthy Ireland,” Minister Varadkar said.

Jim Breslin has been Secretary General of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs since his appointment in July 2011. As well as providing administrative leadership in the establishment of this newly created Department, he has also contributed to the major reform of legislation, policy and services which has been advanced in this area.  This includes the establishment of the Child and Family Agency in January of this year, the publication of Better Outcomes Brighter Futures (The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020), placing Children First on a statutory basis through the Children First Bill 2014, the redevelopment of Oberstown Children’s Detention School so as to facilitate the transfer of responsibility for all children under 18 years and the roll-out of the Area Based Childhood programme to tackle child poverty in communities with greatest disadvantage.

He has considerable senior management experience across both Government Departments and the health service. In his career to date he has worked previously in the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive, the Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Department of Finance. He holds two masters degrees in public administration; one from the Institute of Public Administration/Trinity College Dublin and another from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.