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Haikerwal to lead Govt health agency

Former AMA President and current World Medical Association Council Chair Dr Mukesh Haikerwal has been appointed to oversee the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare as the Federal Government pushes ahead with controversial cuts to health agencies.

Health Minister Peter Dutton announced late last month that Dr Haikerwal, who was awarded the AMA President’s Medal at the 2014 AMA National Conference, had been appointed to a one-year term as AIHW Chair, effective from 19 July.

The appointment puts Dr Haikerwal in the thick of massive changes to institutional arrangements in health as the Abbott Government seeks to cut costs and pare back the regulatory burden by abolishing a number of agencies and statutory bodies.

Under its plans, announced in the May Budget, the Government aims to merge the AIHW with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, the National Hospital Performance Authority, the National Health Funding Body and the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool to create a new health productivity and performance commission.

“Dr Haikerwal is highly respected in medical circles and is also an extremely experienced administrator,” Mr Dutton said. “He will be a great asset to the AIHW, Australia’s premier source of data on health and welfare.”

In the private sector, Catholic Health Australia has appointed experienced Queensland-based lawyer Suzanne Greenwood as its next Chief Executive Officer, following the recent departure of Martin Laverty to head the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Mrs Greenwood is currently national CEO of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia, and before that was corporate counsel and company secretary at the St Vincent’s Health and Aged Care, Queensland.

Adrian Rollins