Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Heavens This Does Seem Like An Awful Lot of Money! I Wonder Where It Is Going?

The following appeared today.

NEHTA grabs half of $400m records spend

THE National E-Health Transition Authority has collared an estimated $200 million so far for the 18-month run-up to the Gillard government's personal e-health records launch next July 1, with more money to come.

The Transition Authority received some $110m in base funding for e-health standards work between January 2011 and June 2012, plus separate Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record contracts worth $90m from the Department of Health.

A third tranche of these funds is due in October.

This contrasts with just under $200m for four private-sector projects including the building of the system, three lead implementations and nine e-health pilots to be finished in the same period.

Only $2.3m has been allocated to help local software providers redevelop their products through the Transition Authority's GP desktop panel.

The authority's funding and spending have come under scrutiny in the Senate from Queensland Liberal Sue Boyce.

Senator Boyce is still waiting for Health to answer 11 questions on notice relating to the PCEHR program due by July 22.

An authority spokeswoman brushed off concerns that the organisation still had been developing specifications when the government selected contractors to build the system using existing products and standards.

The Accenture-led consortium will receive $77m for delivering the national infrastructure in time for Health Minister Nicola Roxon's deadline for a working system.

The authority spokeswoman said it was "contributing to an eventual PCEHR for Australia through high-level e-health architectures and blueprints, and determining the 'baseline' for the implementation and development of e-health solutions".

"The PCEHR is based on standards, and will leverage relevant international and Australian specifications to ensure an interoperable solution is achieved, to minimise the complexity and cost of adoption within the sector," she said.

"The NEHTA standards catalogue is in production, and will be available in the coming months.

“It will combine the detailed design of the PCEHR and lessons learnt from the lead implementation sites in relation to functional and operational aspects of the application of standards.”

Heaps more here:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/e-health-records-bill-to-exceed-200m/story-e6frgakx-1226124857282

The full article is well worth a careful read for the details it has.

I have to say I have no idea just what all this money is being spent on - given the scope of the Accenture led PCEHR delivery tender seems to cover a pretty complete delivery of the project.

The explanations quoted as being provided by DoHA and NEHTA sound like waffle to me.

It is also interesting that NEHTA’s 2010 Full Year spend was about $88 Million according to the annual report to support about 200 FTE’s and who knows how many contractors. Amazingly 29% of the staff were involved in Solutions Development. I wonder what solutions those 60 or so people are working on?

No matter how you look at this there is a heck of a lot of money being spend on some not very obvious activities at the Wave 1 and Wave 2 sites.

It is also worth noting we still do not have the PCEHR Standards and we still await finalisation of a contract between Standards Australia and DoHA for this year's e-Health work.

Anyone who has some detailed facts on all the non-obvious spending is welcome to comment to enlighten us all!

David.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Throwing big self-congratulating parties like they did with an invite-only event in Melbourne last year.

Anonymous said...

David, did you get an inivite?

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Nope! Didn't even know it was on!

David.

Anonymous said...

It is an extraordinary and illogical skew when one considers that "only $2.3m has been allocated to help local software providers redevelop their products through the Transition Authority's GP desktop panel".

This has been a fiasco and has not improved since Reinecke left.

It has gotten worse.

This has been an extremely well funded exercise and we know that it is going to end up a scaled down, de-scoped Orion implementation that might as well be a cut and paste of the NSW Health-e-Link project.

And we all know how well that went.

It makes my blood boil that taxpayers money is being wasted in this way.

Anonymous said...

Right, because wasting it with the local vendors would be much preferable.

Lagrimas de Luna said...

Think of these funds as a government program to eliminate poverty among the software architects of Australia. Just how do you think NEHTA is going to pay for all those shiny new architects it has working for the Enterprise Architecture Office?