Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) president and UnitingCare Health executive director Richard Royle has announced he will leave both roles early next year to pursue new opportunities.
Mr Royle made the announcement in a message to staff on Monday, saying he will continue in the roles until February.
Mr Royle has led UnitingCare Health since 2005. He joined the APHA board that same year and became the Association’s vice president in 2006.
He was elected president of APHA in October last year, assuming responsibility for important policy and advocacy tasks at a national level as well as playing a key role in promoting the positive contribution of private hospitals in Australia.
In the statement issued to staff, he said “it is now time” for him to pursue other opportunities in the health care industry.
“During the earlier part of 2016 I will be expanding my role in assisting the Federal Government to transition their governance arrangements for digital health for Australia in line with the recommendations arising from the review that I chaired into the Personally Controlled Electronic Health record project in 2013,” Mr Royle said.
“In the latter part of 2016 I have entered into an agreement to join Price Waterhouse Coopers as a partner in their consulting business in the area of health consulting for Australia, New Zealand and south east Asia.”
Mr Royle has overseen sweeping changes during his decade in charge at UnitingCare Health.
All four of the organisation’s hospitals – The Wesley Hospital, St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital and St Stephen’s Hospital – have undergone significant work.
The most extensive project was the development of St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay, which opened in 2014 as Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital and is one of the most advanced health care facilities in the country.
In 2013, Mr Royle received industry acclaim for his leadership during the legionella outbreak at The Wesley Hospital. His calm and professional approach resulted in minimal damage to the hospital’s reputation.
Despite tendering his resignation, Mr Royle will continue to be involved with UnitingCare Queensland and UnitingCare Health through a number of advisory and consultancy roles.
UnitingCare Queensland chief executive Anne Cross welcomed his continuing involvement.
“I am pleased that whilst Richard will leave his executive role within UnitingCare Queensland, his new role will make it possible for him to continue to be involved with [the organisation]in further identifying strategic opportunities into the future,” Ms Cross said in a statement.
“Whilst it will be sad to see Richard leave us after 10 years, I know that he will continue to make a significant contribution across health care in his new role.”
Mr Royle will finish in his roles as APHA president and UnitingCare Health executive director on 12 February 2016.