McKinnon Prize 2018 Selection Panel

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal is a General Medical Practitioner in Altona North in the West of Melbourne, Victoria Australia. He is in a group teaching and training practice where he has worked since 1991 with his wife Karyn Alexander. The practice has a significant role in supporting patients needing psychiatric and mental health care in the area coordinating care with members of the Mental Health professionals’ network and beyond.

Mukesh has advocated for his peers for since 1982 as a medical student, whilst training and ever since as an established GP specialist. He has also been a fierce advocate for patients’ rights, accessible and affordable services through a commitment to Universal Health Care. This continues in effort to address the health of Doctors and medical students – particularly mental health, to be a catalyst to support the rest of the community.

On 26 January 2018 he was made a Companion (AC) IN the General Division of the Order of Australia for “eminent service to medical governance, administration, and technology, and to medicine, through leadership roles with a range of organisations, to education and the not-for-profit sector, and to the community of Western Melbourne.”

His drivers are to see that systems “do the right thing” for patients and practitioners, never lie, never sell ‘the Emperor’s new clothes and always hold administrators accountable.

Of note, Mukesh has held high offices in Victoria, Nationally and internationally.

  • Principal in General Medical Practice
  • Professorial Fellow, Flinders University, Adelaide
  • Board beyondblue
  • Chair beyondblue Drs’ Mental Health Programme
  • Board Cancer Victoria
  • Board Brain Injury Australia
  • AMA Gold Medalist
  • Life Fellow, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • 2014-2016 Ex Chair Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • 2011-2015 Past Chair of Council, World Medical Association
  • 2013: Rotary Melbourne Community Award
  • 2003-2005 19th President, Australian Medical Association
  • 2001-2003 AMA Victoria President
  • 2007-2013 Head of Clinical Leadership, Safety & Stakeholder Management: National E-Health Transition Authority
  • 2008-2009 Commissioner, National Health & Hospitals Reform Commission

Mukesh is a passionate advocate for the use of technology in the health sector and stepped down as the National Clinical Lead and Head of the Clinical Leadership & Stakeholder Management Unit at Australia’s the National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) after 6 years in August 2013. His roles there were in apprising the Australian community of the benefits of the vital role of IT in health care an enabler of progressive improvements and sustainability.

He worked for the Prime Minister of Australia on the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission formulating a future vision for Australia’s health including using eHealth as an enabler. He was previously assigned to the National Minister for Health’s eHealth Ministerial Advisory Group and had roles with the Victorian State government.

He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2011 for distinguished service to medical administration, to the promotion of public health through leadership roles with professional organisations, particularly the Australian Medical Association, to the reform of the Australian health system through the optimisation of information technology, and as a general practitioner.

He was the 19th Federal President of the Australian Medical Association, its Federal Vice President and, prior to that AMA Victorian State President. This saw him responsible for national policy development, lobbying with federal parliamentarians, co-ordinating activity across the AMA State entities and representing the AMA and its members nationally and internationally. He is a Life fellow of the RACGP and in May 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal.