Ambulance Tasmania acting chief executive, Matthew Eastham, has announced his intention to resign, after accepting another chief executive job interstate.
In an email sent to staff this afternoon, Mr Eastham said it was with "mixed emotions" he had decided to step down after an involvement with the organisation spanning 20 years.
"My work with everyone at Ambulance Tasmania has been filled with great challenges, successes, setbacks and everything in between," Mr Eastham wrote.
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"Whilst I acknowledge there remains a journey to be travelled for Ambulance Tasmania, the past 12 months have demonstrated that with the right team and an organisational commitment to progression we can really achieve some great outcomes.
"Ambulance Tasmania is full of talented and committed people. Everyone should be very proud of what we have done. I know I am."
Mr Eastham says he will be working with the Health Department in the coming weeks to finalise the "transitional arrangements for the chief executive position".
His resignation comes after a massive data breach rocked Ambulance Tasmania two weeks ago, with the revelation that the personal details of every Tasmanian who called an ambulance since November last year had been made publicly available online.
The information from Ambulance Tasmania's paging system was posted on a website and was being updated in real-time before ultimatley being taken down and the matter referred to Tasmania Police.
Whilst I acknowledge there remains a journey to be travelled for Ambulance Tasmania, the past 12 months have demonstrated that with the right team and an organisational commitment to progression we can really achieve some great outcomes.Matthew Eastham, Ambulance Tasmania acting chief executive
However, Health and Community Services Union state secretary Tim Jacobson was surprised by Mr Eastham's decision and said he did not believe it was related to the data breach.
"I believe there have been security problems longer than he has been in charge," Mr Jacobson said.
"It's sudden - it's a shock.
"It leaves Ambulance Tasmania without leadership at a time when it needs it more than ever."
Health Minister Sarah Courtney commended Mr Eastham for his leadership with Ambulance Tasmania - "particularly during the challenges posed for the service during the coronavirus outbreak in the North-West" - and wished him success in his new role.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Eastham has been in the role of acting chief executive since February last year. Prior to that, he served as Ambulance Tasmania's director of operations for a period of three months.
From 2013-15, he held the role of regional manager and was based in Launceston.
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