The newly created role will involve leading government affairs and policy engagement for the UK business across health insurance, care services, home healthcare and the sustainability agenda.
Gowrley, who will start the new role in April, currently leads MHP’s health practice with Rachel Rowson, who will continue in the role and take over his responsibilities. MHP said there are currently no plans to recruit a replacement.
Gowrley and Rowson took over in July last year from former health head and deputy head Mike Birtwistle and Sarah Winstone, who quit the agency to set up independent consultancy Incisive Health with former government adviser Bill Morgan.
Gowrley told PRWeek he had not been planning to leave, but the opportunity had come up recently.
"Bupa approached me very recently and it was such a fantastic opportunity that I had to make a tough decision to leave somewhere I love and the fantastic team at MHP Health," he said.
"Bupa is a unique organisation, with a special heritage and an exciting future. I’m looking forward to playing a part in tackling the toughest challenges in healthcare and make quality healthcare accessible and affordable.
He will report to Bupa UK corporate affairs director Helen Vaughan-Jones, who said: "Rupert’s experience will be extremely valuable and he will be a great asset to the team."