The man slated to take over as Queensland’s chief health officer from next week will no longer be taking up the position.
- Krispin Hajkowicz has been working on the frontline of the COVID pandemic at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
- He has told the government he will not take up the position of CHO for personal reasons
- Dr Peter Aitken will act in the job until a permanent replacement is found for Dr Young
In a statement, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that for personal reasons Dr Krispin Hajkowicz will not begin the job on Monday.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken will act in the role until a permanent replacement is appointed.
Ms D’Ath said she respects Dr Hajkowicz’s decision and his request for privacy.
The current Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young is due to be sworn in on Monday as the next Queensland Governor, and will finish up her role as the state’s top doctor on Sunday.
She will take over from Governor Paul de Jersey, who extended his term until November 1 to allow Dr Young more time to see through Queensland’s COVID pandemic response.
Dr Hajkowicz was officially announced as the successful candidate to replace Dr Young in October.
For much of the past 18 months he worked as the director of the infectious disease unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Dr Hajkowicz has worked through a total of four pandemics, including Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks.
Since accepting the CHO position, Dr Hajkowicz had been working at Queensland Health’s corporate office in the Brisbane CBD.
Queensland Health director-general Dr John Wakefield emailed staff today to notify them that Dr Hajkowicz would no longer take up the position “due to personal reasons”.
“I wish Dr Hajkowicz all the best and I would like to thank him for his guidance over these past weeks,” Dr Wakefield wrote.
The decision comes as Queensland prepares to lift border restrictions to COVID hotspot on December 17.
The Queensland government has warned people they are facing their final chance to get fully vaccinated before there is uncontrolled community spread of the Delta strain of COVID-19.