New South Australia Chief Medical Officers Cle Indans and Peter Brown will step down on July 1, according to a press release from the state government.
They are expected to take a pay cut of between $50,000 and $100,000, the statement said.
“The decision to leave the Government has been made with the intention of ensuring that the Government retains its best interests,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in the statement.
“I would like to thank all the staff and staff of the State Government, the people of New South Bay and the entire community for their hard work over the last three decades.”
Mr Brown will become chief medical officer for the state.
The announcement comes days after the Government announced it was dropping a plan to allow doctors to prescribe painkillers in Australia.
In May, a group of doctors and other medical professionals petitioned the Federal Government to scrap the plan, saying it would make it harder for them to practise their profession.
The move to drop the plan came as health experts warned it would drive up the cost of health care in Australia, potentially leading to a rise in drug costs.
“We’re looking at the cost for health care, we’re not looking at health care spending,” Dr Chris Withers, chief executive of the Australian Medical Association, said.
The State Government says it will retain the current policy, which allows for doctors to use prescription drugs as long as they are prescribed for a legitimate medical reason.
“This will continue to be the case for a period of time,” Ms Berejick said.
She said the new policy would “continue to be in place”.
The Government has previously said it would maintain the current practice of doctors prescribing prescription drugs for pain, with the exception of cases where there was a significant medical reason for the prescription.
The Opposition has argued the move would make the current system untenable, given that it would require the Government to provide doctors with prescription drug plans, and would result in an increase in costs for the public.
Ms Berezina said the changes would only apply to “serious medical conditions” and would only be made in line with “the current guidelines” that she said she had been given by the Federal Health Minister.
The Government’s policy was also criticised by Health Minister Jill Hennessy.
“There is no justification for the Government’s decision to change its pain prescription policy,” Ms Hennessa said in a statement.
The Federal Government announced a raft of changes to the drug prescription system in May, which it said would improve access to medicines and lower costs for patients.
But it has faced widespread criticism for a number of reasons, including the fact that some doctors still refuse to provide pain medication.
A number of experts have also said the Federal government’s changes are flawed.