Two veteran top officials in the health sector will be replaced at the end of the month following the government’s decision not to re-appoint them, this newspaper has learnt.

Health Superintendent Ray Busuttil, who ranks second to the permanent secretary in the public health hierarchy, and Environmental Health director John Attard Kingswell reach the end of their three-year terms on November 30.

This is in line with standard practice for selecting key senior staff within the civil service

Dr Busuttil, who is widely regarded as one of the most qualified and experienced professionals in his field, has spent 15 years in the post and the previous 20 years in the health department.

He will be replaced by Richard Zammit from the Directorate of Health Care Service Standards.

Mr Attard Kingswell’s experience is also vast, having served in various positions within the public health division for 32 years. His successor will be Clive Tonna, a senior principal within the same directorate. A Health Ministry spokesman told Times of Malta that a call to fill both positions had been issued on June 28. “This is in line with the standard practice regulating the identification and selection of senior staff for key posts within the civil service and the whole process is regulated by the Public Service Commission,” the spokesman said when first asked questions on the matter earlier this month.

No further details were divulged.

Contacted by Times of Malta yesterday, Dr Busuttil confirmed he would not be re-selected for the post and would be returning as a consultant to the public health department.

Dr Busuttil joined the Department of Health in 1988 and in 1992 was appointed primary care director.

In September last year he was elected deputy chairman of the Standing Committee of the World Health Organisation Regional Conference and is set to become its president next year.

Sources said that, after having been informed he was not the chosen candidate, Dr Busuttil turned down a post in the office of the permanent secretary.

Mr Attard Kingswell told this newspaper he had been keen to contribute further in his role but his application for another term was unsuccessful.

Apart from heading the Environmental Health Directorate for six years, Mr Attard Kingswell was involved in setting up this entity in 2007.

Asked about his plans for the future, he said that he was yet to learn about his next appointment but reiterated his wish to continue working in the same field.