Australian Family Physician becomes Chair of the World Medical Association

(07.04.2011) Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, a general medical practitioner in Melbourne, Australia, has been elected Chair of the World Medical Association, succeeding Dr. J. Edward Hill, who has stood down after four years in the post.

Dr. Haikerwal was elected unopposed today at the WMA's three-day Council meeting in Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Haikerwal has practised as a family physician in Melbourne's Western Suburbs since 1991. He is a former President of the Australian Medical Association at both State and Federal levels and has been Chair of the WMA Finance and Planning Committee since 2007. In February 2008 he was appointed a Commissioner to Australia's National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.

Last year he received Australia Day honours and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. His award was received 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 is a professor at the School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at Flinders University in South Australia, and remains Head of Clinical Leadership and Engagement at the National eHealth Transition Authority.

Dr. Hill, a family physician from Tupelo, Mississippi, and a former Chair and President of the American Medical Association, has been Chair of the WMA since 2007.