Australia’s new top digital doc announced


By Michael Woodhead

8 Jul 2024

Dr Amandeep Hansra

The Australian Digital Health Agency has announced the appointment of Dr Amandeep Hansra as its new Chief Clinical Adviser (Medicine).

The federal government agency responsible for implementing digital and e-health programs in healthcare says Dr Hansra will take over the role from Dr Steve Hambleton, the former Federal AMA President who has served as the Agency’s Chief Clinical Adviser since 2016.

Dr Hansra is a Bondi GP and digital health entrepreneur, with a track record in start ups in areas of telehealth as well as holding director positions in digital health organisations.

She was a board member of Healthdirect Australia and played a key role in services such as Medibank’s Nurse Triage and GP After Hours, and Telstra’s Readycare, for which she served as the CEO and Medical Director.  Dr Hansra helped set up the National Coronavirus hotline and was co-founder of digital health consultancy Caligo Health.

She was previously a Clinical Reference Lead for the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole PSM said Dr Hansra’s unique skill set would be a great asset for the Agency and the health sector to guide its vision of a more connected health system for all Australians.

“Dr Hansra is a visionary leader who has been at the forefront of transforming healthcare delivery through digital solutions. Her wealth of knowledge and expertise has been invaluable in the last six years that she has been a Digital Health Adviser for the Agency, and I look forward to working closely with her as part of the executive team,” Ms Cattermole said.

Dr Hansra said she was honoured to advance her work with the Agency as Chief Clinical Adviser (Medicine) as part of an expanded clinical leadership team.

“I have always been passionate about innovation in the health sector, I believe that digital health is the key to improving access, quality and safety of care. As we enter a pivotal time in evolution of technology in healthcare, I am delighted to elevate my work with the Agency to ensure that digital health initiatives continue to be clinically led, evidence-based and person-centred,” Dr Hansra said.

Ms Cattermole praised Dr Hambleton for providing “extraordinary service” to the Agency and the health sector as whole with his respected advice.

“I am grateful for his foresight and deep commitment and very pleased that he will continue to work with us, providing his wisdom and his insights,” Ms Cattermole said.

Dr Hambleton said he was proud of the achievements as clinical adviser and would continue to work part time with the Agency as a Specialist Adviser.

“In 1995 I bought a computer for my practice and within days three pharmacists had called to thank me because they could read what was on the scripts.  That was the beginning of understanding what technology could do for patient safety, and how it could allow clinicians to prioritise time with patients over paperwork,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Now we are on the verge of precision medicine and the next wave of change will create a truly connected system that ensures we have the right information readily available at the point of care.”

The Agency has created a new role of Chief Clinical Adviser (Nursing), which will complement the Chief Clinical Adviser (Medicine) position and broaden the representation of health professionals at the executive level in the Agency.

“We recognise the vital role that nurses play in the delivery of healthcare services and the adoption of digital health solutions. The Chief Clinical Adviser (Nursing) will provide us with valuable insights and guidance on how to better engage and support the nursing workforce in the adoption of digital health,” Ms Cattermole said.

The Australian Digital Health Agency is committed to empowering Australians to access the best healthcare when and where they need it, and in supporting clinicians to deliver safer and more efficient care.

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