Gerry Marr has resigned as chief executive of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
Mr Marr informed the board of his decision, and will finish at the end of August.
It is understood health reasons were given for his decision to step down from the role of running the district, which includes St George, Sutherland and Calvary hospitals.
A former health administrator in Scotland, Mr Marr was appointed in 2014 on an open-ended contract and was expected to continue at least until he is 65, which is in February next year [not the second half of 2018, as earlier reported].
Mr Marr was in the public spotlight over the controversial suspension and naming of cancer specialist Kiran Phadke in 2016,
Health district board chairman Michael Still said on Thursday Dr Phadke’s suspension and later reinstatement as an oncologist in the public hospitals had “absolutely nothing” to do with Mr Marr leaving the job.
“The district is in much better shape than when Mr Marr started and the board is very pleased with his performance,” Mr Still said.
“In his time, I think we have restored the fortunes of the local health district in a wonderful way.
“It is far better off financially, operationally and in KPIs (key performance indicators).
”The ship is in very good shape and that is certainly not what I could have said four years ago.”
Supporters of Dr Phadke had a different view on Mr Marr’s legacy.
Cr Carol Provan, a member of the committee which galvanised community support behind the cancer specialist, said Mr Marr “led a witch hunt” that threatened to destroy Dr Phadke’s reputation.
Cr Provan said the NSW Medical Board had recently lifted all restrictions on Dr Phadke, and he could work in haematology as well as oncology.
“We do support investigations, but it should have been internal,” she said.
“Our group is still meeting and we will be making representations to the board chairman Mr Still to ensure this type of witch hunt never happens again.”
Mr Marr had a nursing career from 1976 to the mid-1980s before moving into health administration.
He retired after 20 years as chief executive of a large health district in Scotland, and was recruited by Mr Still to take on a similar role in south-eastern Sydney
After his work in Scotland, Mr Marr was presented with an OBE.