30 Jan, 2018 Australia Day honours: Ex-AMA president Mukesh Haikerwal had brush with death
By Richard Ferguson, The Australian
Mukesh Haikerwal will receive the nation’s highest civilian honour today but the former head of the doctors’ union said he’s lucky to have made it to Australia Day 2018 at all.
He was known to the nation as the face of the Australian Medical Association in the dying days of the Howard government but on September 27, 2008, he became another victim of violent crime when he was bashed by three men fresh from a spree of robberies.
Dr Haikerwal was walking through a park in Williamstown in Melbourne’s west when the men took his wallet and hit the left side of his head with a baseball bat.
“I won’t let it define my life before that and define my life after it but I’ve certainly redoubled my efforts … perhaps I have done too much after it,” he said. “I’m just constantly grateful to my wife and my brother for finding me in that park and to the medical staff who cared for me and turned me into the $6 million man,” he said.
Dr Haikerwal is dedicating his Companion of the Order of Australia to doctors who have died in the line of duty, which continues a life of standing up for doctors in the most difficult conditions.
This article was originally posted on The Australian on January 26, 2018.