Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I Wonder Is It An Accident That E-Health Is Not Mentioned But Tele-health Is In An Immediately Pre-Budget Article From The Health Minister ?

A little pre-Budget hint I wonder?

No more talking, we are ‘doing’ for rural health

8th May 2012
WHEN it comes to improving rural health services, it’s time for practical solutions.
The challenges are well known: shortages of health workers, older hospitals and health facilities and long distances to specialist centres, all have to be addressed so that rural Australians can get the health care they need, when and where they need it. 
We have to think smarter and work harder with an obvious starting point being how to increase the numbers of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in the bush. 
One of the ways that we are making it more attractive for doctors to work in rural Australia is through significant bonus payments for doctors who choose to work in the most remote locations and retention payments to encourage others to stay in these areas. 
Our investments in telehealth, where a patient consults a doctor or other health professional by video conferencing, is helping to remove the tyranny of distance. 
Imagine a cancer patient in Mandurah, Western Australia, speaking with her oncologist in Perth. She will be able to remain in the comfort of her own home with family and carers, while her specialist collects real time vital statistics such as blood pressure or heart rate. 
The full (much longer) article is here:
All I can say is we may have to assume from this that the NEHRS is not going to feature in any large way. A few hours from now all will be clear.
If the fates are kind I hope to be able to get the basics for e-Health out some time this evening. We will see.


Cris Kerr said...

Thank you David.

Whether or not we see eye to eye on everything PCEHR, I want to let you to know that I really do appreciate the catch-up time your blog affords me in keeping abreast of what's happening, and of course, the odd opportunity to comment.

You have done, and continue to do, a lot of hard work on this, and it is sincerely appreciated.

Paul Fitzgerald said...

unfortunate that a GP can't get paid to use video consultation for an aged care resident - he/she can only get paid if they visit the patient and do a video consult with a specialist. Does the government not realise that most aged care work is done by GPs? How about the GP/Obstetricians in the bush? they don't qualify for telehealth as a specialist because they don't have the piece of paper that says they belong to the college - who does most of the obstetric work in regional Australia? GPs and midwives - but I guess, like many of this government's programmes, it is ill thought out and targetted at the wrong places. this is not to say that there is benefit in providing specialist access to regional patients via video - just that the benefits don't appear to be thought through properly.