Australian Digital Health Agency chief suddenly quits

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Australian Digital Health Agency chief suddenly quits

After three years.

Australian Digital Health Agency chief Tim Kelsey has abruptly resigned after more than three years at the helm of the country’s national digital health systems and services.

In a brief statement on Monday afternoon, the agency’s board revealed Kelsey would leave the top job on January 17.

His departure preempts the release of David Thodey's long-awaited root-and-branch review of the Australian Public Service later this week, in which agencies are likely to be further consolidated.

Kelsey joined the ADHA as its inaugural CEO in August 2016 - when the agency replaced the then National e-Health Transition Authority - following a brief stint at Telstra Health.

Prior to that, he spent more than three years as the national director of patents and information for the UK’s National Health Service, where he came under fire over plans over the care.data program.

He also served as the UK government’s first executive director of transparency and open data and, before that, worked as a journalist and television reporter.

Little detail was provided on the circumstances around Kelsey's resignation, with the board's statement noticeably devoid of gratitude for his service over the last three years.

“Mr Kelsey has been the CEO of the agency since 2016,” the board said.

“During this time, the agency has done much to be proud of, particularly working with stakeholders and the community to provide more than 22 million Australians with an online summary of their key health information through their My Health Record, and to support the introduction of e-prescribing.”

The board will now look to appoint a successor and will shortly appoint an interim CEO to oversee the agency will a recruitment process is undertaken.

It is also “engaging with the agency to ensure staff are supported during this time of change”.

Kelsey's departure comes at a critical juncture for the agency, as it continues its search for a new national infrastructure provider for the My Health Record system.

According to PulseIT, ADHA chief operating officer is also preparing to leave the agency after ten years.

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