14 December 2023

Director General announces resignation

The Department of Health’s Director General, Dr DJ Russell-Weisz PSM has announced he will step down after almost nine years in the key role and 28 years with WA Health.

With a passion for public health, Dr Russell-Weisz started his career as a general practitioner in South London. Moving to Western Australia, he worked in the remote Pilbara and Kimberley, Perth’s metropolitan health services, led major projects including the commissioning of Fiona Stanley Hospital and then headed up the Department of Health.

As DG, Dr Russell-Weisz oversaw a major reform of the health system in 2016, setting up a system of health service providers led by independent boards. At all times, his focus has been on the patient experience, and the safety and quality of care for Western Australians.

He has recently led reforms of emergency department care, long-stay patient initiatives, elective surgery and the setup of a State Health Operations Centre to bring about enhanced coordination for improved patient care.

Dr Russell-Weisz said that he had been humbled by the dedication and commitment of WA Health staff who served the community with great care and passion.

“The past four years have challenged all of us like never before,” he said.

“We successfully navigated our way through the COVID-19 pandemic with an outcome that is the envy of many other health jurisdictions around the world.”

“While highly disruptive for our health services, this period showcased the very best of our public health system – working as a team to protect and treat our patients and the broader community, while also continuing to deliver the key priorities of the WA health system.”

Dr Russell-Weisz thanked all WA Health staff for their work.

“I also acknowledge and recognise the WA Health executive team, including Health Service Provider Boards, for their leadership and commitment across our broad and diverse health sector,” he said.

Dr Russell-Weisz’s last day at the Department will be 27 March 2024.