Kim Snowball, the new health chief of Western Australia, defended his annual salary package of $541,000 to his New South Wales counterpart's $413,000.

NSW's health budget is more than double that of Western Australia's but Snowball said Wednesday his job was very demanding.

Though higher than NSW health chief Debora Picone's salary and under the circumstance of a severely under-resourced health system, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) welcomes Snowball's appointment, the third health chief of WA in as many years.

AMA president Dave Mountain said the salary was necessary to attract strong candidates..

But we hope that he's got very good KPIs (key performance indicators) and he's able to deliver, Mountain said as quoted by The Australian.

Snowball's salary is also higher than Premier Colin Barnett's base pay of $299,000 and Health Minister Kim Hames' $254,000, though the latter two receives various allowances.