This blog is totally independent and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Read Closely - This is Really A Rather Odd Position To Be Adopting On The PCEHR.
LIBERAL MPs will vote to pass the Gillard government's legislation on personally controlled e-health records in the lower house, but warn they may move changes when the findings of a Senate inquiry are released.
Opposition e-health spokesman Andrew Southcott said the Coalition supported the concept of shared e-health records, but had concerns about the way the system was being implemented.
"Labor's implementation of the PCEHR since taking government in 2007 has received enormous criticism from industry for the poor management of the program's development and progress," he told the house last week.
"This legislation was introduced in the final sitting week of 2011; the opposition referred the bills to a Senate inquiry, which is due to report on February 29.
"Submissions to that inquiry have just closed. In its public hearing (on February 6), the inquiry heard testimony highlighting a number of stakeholders' concerns.
"A better approach would have been for the Health Minister and the government to defer debate on the bills until the Senate has reported its findings."
Almost all submissions raised concerns about the government's July 1 go-live date for the system, and statements that "the minister has repeatedly stated we will be able to register" for a personal record from that date.
"Unfortunately, just repeating it will not necessarily make it come true," Dr Southcott said.
"There is widespread belief by the majority of industry experts, health bodies and medical practitioners that July 1 will not bring the fanfare we are expecting."
Nevertheless, Dr Southcott said, the Coalition was committed to the concept of an e-health record, and recognised the benefits "a properly implemented PCEHR could bring to patients and practitioners alike".
"For this reason, while not opposing these bills, we do reserve our right to move amendments, pending the outcome of the Senate inquiry."
The house is in recess this week and reconvenes next Monday.
Lots more with coverage of what NEHTA says will be ready for July 1, and the comments of Senator Boyce is found here:
It is really hard to understand, in the light of the comments made by Dr Southcott, just what the Opposition is doing just passing legislation to introduce the PCEHR when, from his own comments, he has so many doubts about things related to the PCEHR.
To be passing legislation to enable a ‘concept’ rather than something tangible for which there was some evidence of value - especially when an enquiry report is due in a little over a week - seems rather odd to me.
I guess the machinations of the political mind will always remain a bit of a mystery to those on the outside.