Statement from Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AO

On Tuesday 13 August 2013, I tendered my resignation from NEHTA effective Thursday 22 August 2013.

I have been with The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) as National Clinical Lead since the 2007 Boston Consulting Group report.

I am a passionate advocate for health and healthcare and maintain my fervent belief that eHealth will transform the way we receive care and practice medicine. My decision to move on from my role with NEHTA has not been made lightly, and of course there is never a ‘good time’ to take this step.

However, with the eHealth system now in its current place and moving into a different phase, this is the right time for me to step aside.

NEHTA’s focus has moved from designing eHealth systems to them now being tweaked to encompass utility, usability, usefulness and meaningful use in the products to be rolled out into the healthcare sector. There have been discussions with NEHTA and the Department of Health and Ageing about the best way for this to occur.

I am assured that the rigour provided to the nationwide consultation leading to the PCEHR Concept of Operations with continued engagement with healthcare providers, peak bodies, consumers, vendors and other key stakeholders which is critical, will continue.

We are just at the beginning, and there is a long way to go on the eHealth journey. I will continue to be a strong advocate for continued consultation and involvement from people using eHealth systems on the ground. I believe eHealth and the PCEHR will be the way of the future and I will continue to encourage my patients and my clinical colleagues to consider taking advantage of the benefits of these systems.

I am enormously proud of what my teams at NEHTA and the Clinical Leads group and Clinical Unit have achieved. These professionals were instrumental in making eHealth a topic of conversation in the community, in bringing together a significant agreement and vision for the use of technology in the Health sector. They have made Clinical safety a part of the “eHealth build”.

We, as a community, have a useful, usable vehicle which will make healthcare safer and more effective. I have confidence that the vision I have long believed in is achievable and that with ongoing dialogue between clinicians, the broader community, NEHTA and the governments of Australia this vision will become a reality.

On a personal and professional note, I would like to thank the marvellous stakeholders of the health sector who so willingly gave of their time, knowledge, wisdom, energies and goodwill over the six years I have been involved. I have very much enjoyed working with and learning from you, I certainly hope our paths cross again.