Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has today announced the appointment of Robert Watt as Secretary General at the Department of Health, following Cabinet approval.
Mr Watt will not receive the proposed €292,000 a year salary but will remain on the €211,000 he has been receiving in his previous role as Secretary General at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
Speaking following the announcement, Minister Donnelly said:
“I am pleased that Robert is taking on this really important role in the Department of Health.
“The Department continues to work through the challenge of COVID-19, is leading on the vaccination programme and the implementation of Sláintecare.
“Robert brings a wealth of experience to this role and I looking forward to working with him in the time ahead.”
Mr Watt was appointed interim secretary general of the Department of Health in January while the recruitment process for the permanent role took place.
“I was delighted to be asked to take on the role of Interim Secretary General in the Department of Health earlier this year,” Watt said following the announcement by the Minister.
“An open TLAC competition was held and I am pleased to be asked to take on this role on a permanent basis following the Government meeting today.
“The proposed salary for this role is higher than my current salary.
“I don’t think it is appropriate to take such an increase in pay given the current difficult economic conditions the country faces.
“It had always been my intention that, if I were to be appointed to this role, I would waive this increase until the economy begins to recover and unemployment falls.
“I am looking forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Department of Health on the many challenges we face.”