First day on the job for new secretaries

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Yesterday was the first day on the job for new departmental secretaries, including Glenys Beauchamp PSM at Health.

Ms Beauchamp has moved to Health from Industry, Innovation and Science and will oversee a significant policy agenda that will impact the private health sector.

Ms Beauchamp, who worked with health minister Greg Hunt in her previous role during his time in that portfolio, takes the leadership of Health as it seeks to manage government's fast-moving reform agenda.

Since his appointment earlier this year, Mr Hunt has negotiated a range of agreements and compacts with stakeholder groups. Some of the output of these negotiations is yet to be legislated and implemented.

Mr Hunt is also close to announcing a package of reforms to private health insurance, including changes to the Prostheses List pricing framework, which is designed to address rising concern over affordability that is behind a recent decline in membership. Yet it is likely to be controversial.

Changes inside the Department of Health are a potential complication. The area responsible for private health policy is the Technology, Assessment and Access division.

The area formerly known as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Division was recreated in recent months with added responsibility for private health, aspects of Medicare, diagnostic imaging and pathology - some of the most complex and contested areas of health policy.