Hazzard for Health as Jillian Skinner retires

Sydney-based Liberal MP Brad Hazzard has been named as the NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research following the forced retirement of Jillian Skinner.

Mrs Skinner, who held the shadow health ministry for 14 years before being appointed minister following the Coalition's victory in 2011, chose to retire from politics after learning she would be removed from the health portfolio in new Premier Gladys Berejiklian's cabinet reshuffle.

Mrs Skinner was well respected within NSW Health for her knowledge of the portfolio. She also championed eHealth, securing $400 million to be spent over 10 years, in the O'Farrell government's first budget.

Mr Hazzard, a former science teacher and solicitor, has been in Parliament since 1991. He was previously Minister for Family and Community Services and has in the past served as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.

Mr Hazzard's electorate covers Sydney's northern beaches, where the new 488-bed Northern Beaches Hospital, a public-private partnership between the Northern Sydney Local Health District and private operator Healthscope worth $2.14 billion over 20 years, is due to open next year.

Posted in Movers and shakers

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