Wednesday, April 09, 2014

This Really Is Getting Sillier And Sillier! What Is It The Government Is Trying to Hide?

This appeared a few days ago.

 “No public interest” in PCEHR review release

news The Department of Health has stated it does not believe there is a public interest case for the Federal Government’s review of the troubled Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project to be released publicly, despite the fact that Health Minister Peter Dutton has stated the document contains “a comprehensive plan for the future of electronic health records in Australia”.
The PCEHR project was initially funded in the 2010 Federal Budget to the tune of $466.7 million after years of health industry and technology experts calling for development and national leadership in e-health and health identifier technology to better tie together patients’ records and achieve clinical outcomes. The project is overseen by the Department of Health in coalition with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).
However, in July the Government revealed it had failed to meet it initial 500,000 target for adoption of the system, with only close to 400,000 Australians using the system at that point.
Due to the problems, on 4 November new Coalition Government Health Minister Peter Dutton kicked off a promised review of the PCEHR project. On 20 December, only a month and a half after the review was initiated, Dutton issued a statement noting that he had received its report. “Their report provides a comprehensive plan for the future of electronic health records in Australia,” the Minister said at the time.
However, Dutton has not committed to publicly releasing the findings of the PCEHR Review. As a consequence, in early January, Delimiter filed a Freedom of Information request with the Department of Health seeking to have the full text of the document released under the Freedom of Information Act. Although the department initially stated it did not have a copy of the document at the time of the initial FOI request, a subsequent FOI request showed that the department had by then obtained a copy.
Read the rest of the saga and some commentary here:
It is hard to know what to add to what Renai has written, other than to wish him luck with the new request.
It really is hard to know just what the Government is trying to hide with regard to the fabulously designed, delivered and managed program. Surely nothing of any sort has gone wrong, there has been no waste and the program is now delivering clear cut benefits for the public.
I guess this must not be the case otherwise the Government would have been keen to release such a wonderful score card - or is it that it is a mess and they can’t quite work out what to do despite having been given the PCEHR Review in December which provided a comprehensive way forward?
I wonder where the truth lies?


Anonymous said...

They are so silly, the Department of Health. Of course there is public interest in reading the report. Out taxes paid for the PCEHR (big time) and our taxes paid for the review.
Is the Department the entity that 'owns' the report and therefore decides not to release it? I thought Minister Dutton commissioned the review. There doesn't seem to be any point in doing a review if we can't see the outcome. The PCEHR may aspire to be 'personally controlled', but the truth is it is controlled by senior bureaucrats who are not willing to let us know how it works or what is planned for it.
Anyone interested in crowd-funding a truly independent review?

Tom Bowden said...

This is most extraordinary.

Unless we read the review we will have no idea where government thinks we should be going with eHealth.

It is clearly important we do a lot better job than we have done in the recent past.

Reading comments by Messrs Haikerwal, Pinskier et al (former proponents of the current system) in the latest Pulse IT shows the extreme importance of clearer, better strategy.

"Not in the public interest" is surely code for something rather more insidious.

I am very puzzled by this. Are the Australian tax-payers (of which I am one) going to put up with this?

Anonymous said...

Tom, David, fellow readers

The Age article (26 March) will help everyone understand the modus operandi of the bureaucrats. Roz Hansen chilling experience mirrors perfectly what is happening to the PCEHR Ministerial review.

For the first time, and ahead of the release of Plan Melbourne, the woman (Roz Hansen) who headed the committee asked to draft the plan tells Shane Green why she walked out on the government in disgust.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

From reading the article it is clear that the request to have the fees waived has been rejected due to a lack of public interest not the request for the document.

Delimiter has still not received a final decision on the release as of yet.

Quote: "Jackon’s refusal to waive access charges relating to the PCEHR review does not represent the final stage in getting the document released."