Haikerwal resignation raises concerns about PCEHR: AMA
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has issued a statement on the resignation of NEHTA's head of clinical leadership, Mukesh Haikerwal, and other members of the clinical leads team, saying it raises “serious concerns” about clinical input into decision-making in the implementation of the PCEHR.
Pulse+IT understands that Dr Haikerwal actually resigned several days ago, along with a number of other clinicians who have acted as clinical leads for NEHTA.
Melbourne GP and researcher Chris Pearce confirmed to Medical Observer that he had resigned, but said it was because he wanted to concentrate on research. MO also reported that many of the clinical leads' contracts with NEHTA had come to an end this month.
AMA president Steve Hambleton said in a statement that the organisation had long advocated that the success of the PCEHR depended on how it met clinical needs.
“The PCEHR simply will not be effective if doctors – the people who patients trust most with their health care – do not have a say on what goes on the electronic medical record and how that information is accessed and used, and by whom,” Dr Hambleton said.
“This has been a sticking point for the medical profession all along. That is why the AMA has pushed for a more consultative approach to the PCEHR implementation with priority to be given to ailments, treatments, tests, and medications.
“This is the sort of expertise that Dr Haikerwal and his colleagues brought to NEHTA and the whole e-health sector.
“Mukesh has been a passionate advocate for e-health in this country, on behalf of doctors and patients, for more than a decade.
“The AMA is proud of his direction and leadership in this important area of medicine, and we are disturbed that he has chosen to resign.”
Dr Hambleton said the “unrest and disquiet” came at a difficult time as the federal election neared, with much more work to be done to refine eHealth systems.
“Clinical guidance and input remains crucial to a successful implementation,” he said. “There are still some fundamental aspects of the design that means the PCEHR is not useful from the medical practitioners' perspective.
“If the system is not being used by clinicians, we need to know why, and then make the necessary changes.
“We cannot afford to lose the significant investment that the nation has made in this important health infrastructure.
“With the Government in caretaker mode, DoHA and NEHTA must urgently assure the health sector and the public that the PCEHR remains on track, and that clinicians will continue to have a major role in decision-making.”
Posted in Australian eHealth