Dr Hills is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Department of Social Protection. A GP by training, Dr Hills has worked in public and private general practice in Ireland and Australia and more recently as a Chief Medical Officer in the resource industry. As CMO he advises the Minister and Management Board of the Department on medical matters and oversees the management of the Department’s Medical Review and Assessment Service.
The Department of Social Protection is the largest Government Department and is responsible for the development of income support, labour market activation and other support policies. The department is also responsible for the delivery of social welfare schemes, employment, community and other services. The Department has a total programme budget of approximately €20 billion, of which €3.4 billion is allocated to illness and related schemes. Medical assessors provide impartial medical opinions for the guidance of the Department in determining entitlement to these illness-related schemes. Medical Assessors also have the opportunity to become involved in research and education to improve the operation of these schemes, contribute to policy in this area and to the development of targeted employment supports for people with disabilities. Dr Hills will discuss the role of Medical Assessor and how to apply for these posts.