by Jennifer O'Brien

eHealth Queensland appoints former staffer Malcolm Thatcher as interim CEO/CIO

Jul 14, 2016
Technology Industry

Long-time CIO of Mater Health Services, Malcolm Thatcher, has accepted the interim CIO/CEO position at eHealth Queensland, a seat vacated by Colin McCririck who left the position in January after reportedly being linked to a corruption scandal.

McCrinick, who was reportedly caught up in a nepotism scandal and stood aside for four months while the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigated, was reinstated after the CCC made no findings against him.

However, he decided to quit the agency and ventured overseas to work for IBM in the United States.

Meanwhile, Thatcher is no stranger to Queensland Health, having worked as its chief health information officer from September 2014 until August 2015, responsible for ICT strategy, governance, standards, policy and architecture for the Queensland Health System. His responsibilities included contributions to whole of Queensland Government ICT initiatives and contributions to the national eHealth agenda.

Thatcher left Queensland Health back in 2015 to pursue his doctoral thesis in IT governance. He recently completed his PhD, awarded by the Queensland University of Technology for developing a governance framework for the adoption of IT in acute healthcare.

He told CIO Australia it was an easy decision to step into the interim role, while Queensland Health runs a recruitment campaign. “I continue to be absolutely committed to the value that technology adoption can bring to the healthcare sector and, in particular, the consequent benefits to healthcare consumers. Having recently completed my PhD with a focus on eHealth governance, it is evident that the digital age brings with it enormous opportunity to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery.

“Perhaps most importantly, eHealth allows healthcare consumers to be much needed disruptors in a complex ecosystem traditionally slow to adopt information technology. Sure, healthcare is complex, but I can think of nothing more rewarding than being part of the eHealth Queensland team. We’re perfectly positioned to help lead the digital transformation of healthcare in Queensland,” he said.

Asked his immediate focus, he said it will be on excellence in service delivery to customers and supporting the government’s commitments to the Advancing Health 2026 agenda. “I am also committed to supporting the leadership team and staff of eHealth Queensland during this interim appointment. For eHealth Queensland, it is business as usual with many exciting initiatives underway, including the roll out of Queensland’s Digital Hospital program.”

With Thatcher in the role on a temporary basis, Queensland Health is on the lookout for a new CIO/CEO, with a deadline for applicants to apply by July 25.

Reporting to the director-general and as a member of Queensland Health’s departmental leadership team, the CEO/CIO of eHealth Queensland will lead the IT and eHealth agenda for the public health system. The department is a support agency for the IT needs of the state’s 16 hospital and health services and the Department of Health.

“The role will lead all aspects of developing, implementing and maintaining technology initiatives, assuring high performance, consistency, reliability and scalability of all technology offerings,” the department said in its job ad.

“Responsible for implementing the eHealth Investment Strategy, candidates will need to demonstrate an understanding of the strategic issues facing the public health system, the broader eHealth agenda and trends impacting information technology in the healthcare environment. With established business acumen, candidates will ensure value-for-money outcomes are achieved and core information technology activities are delivered.”

The department is calling for candidates to have proven experience in developing, planning, implementing and managing major ICT projects and operations, managed services and support services over a large geographic area for a complex organisation will also be essential.

“The role requires a proven change manager, with exceptional interpersonal, stakeholder engagement and communication skills; able to manage competing priorities, and with highly developed risk management, and corporate governance capabilities.”