HSE CHIEF Executive Paul Reid has announced that he will step down from the position later this year.
In a statement on Monday morning, the HSE said Mr Reid had agreed with the chairman of the board that he will step down in December 2022, allowing a period to choose a successor.
In a message to staff at the HSE, Mr Reid said the decision was the hardest he had ever made in his career.
"Having previously worked in the private, not for profit, central and local government sectors, working in the HSE has been by far the greatest period in my career. It has been truly rewarding leading an organisation whose staff come to work every day to make people’s lives better," he said.
"No organisation will ever match the commitment, dedication and relentless willingness to go beyond the call of duty that I have witnessed as we battled multiple waves of Covid, a criminal cyberattack while driving a significant reform agenda. This has been truly inspirational for me to experience."
He also said he wants to spend more time with his family who had made many sacrifices to support him.
He also said he believed the HSE was entering a new phase and that the appointment of a new leader was now timely.
It's with a heavy heart that I've advised the Chairman of @HSELive and the Minister for Health that I will step down as CEO later this year. Having led teams in the private,not for profit,central & local government and health sectors,I now want to spend some time with my family.
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) June 27, 2022
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has paid tribute to Mr Reid following the announcement.
"Since his appointment as Chief Executive in June 2019, Paul Reid has provided exemplary leadership to the HSE," he said.
"He has led Ireland’s health service through some of its most difficult days and has done so with dedication and professionalism.
"Throughout the pandemic, Paul played a critical role in leading Ireland’s response to the greatest health emergency of our times."
Mr Donnelly said Mr Reid leaves the organisation "much enhanced" for his time as Chief Executive.
"I want to wish Paul all the best for the time ahead and to thank him and his family for the many sacrifices they have made over the last 3 years to allow him to dedicate himself to the role of CEO."
The Taoiseach has also "wholeheartedly" thanked Mr Reid for his time as CEO of the HSE, and said that no phone call was "too late at night or too early in the morning" during the pandemic.
"The HSE, through Paul, and its employees, led from the front on behalf of the country during a once-in-a-century pandemic, and demonstrated the value and importance of a national delivery agency in public health," he said.
"Through acute hospital services, community services, test and tracing, and a world-leading vaccination programme, the HSE played a crucial role in Ireland’s battle against COVID.
"He gave total commitment, along with his teams.
"I understand fully why Paul has decided to step down later this year to spend more time with his family after an extraordinarily demanding period.
"I wish him all the very best in the future."