Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It Seems indecisiveness Reigns In The Department Of Health. Can’t Figure Out What To Do After Four Months!

This appeared tonight.

Budget 2014: E-health records system gets $141m to continue on

Summary: Australia's e-health system will push on in its current form while the federal government plans a response to a recent review into the system.
By Chris Duckett |
Until the Australian federal government, and its Minister for Health Peter Dutton respond to the recently completed review into Australia's personally controlled e-health records (PCEHR) system, the PCEHR will push on with AU$140.6m in funding for this financial year.
Perceived as an underutilised system, earlier this year it was revealed in Senate Estimates that the system had moved from 900,000 registered users in November 2013 to 1.4 million customers by late February 2014.
Dutton, however, aimed up at the lack of clinicians using the system, what he labelled as a rushed implementation by the former government, and stated that the federal government would look to make the system more "practical".
Lots more here:
Seems the Government is clueless - after 4 months can’t figure out what to do.
Astonishing! Clearly the Department and the Minister are not in agreement on the way forward.
David.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

$140 million of federal funds will keep NEHTA afloat quite nicely thank you. As it seems there is no money forthcoming from the States one has to conclude the Department of Health will either drag the PCEHR white elephant in-house (expensive and politically embarrassing decision) OR put it up for privatization by invitation only. DHS would probably see Telstra as a juiciest contender. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

140 million to keep NEHTA afloat? I don't think that is true, DHS will receive a good 60 million to operate NASH and HI services and who knows how much Accenture will receive?

What is not known is how entrenched is Accenture and what will be the cost to break free from them?

NEHTA receives very little in the bigger scheme of things and all the while corners are cut in designs, short sighted payment driven builds are deployed, simply because DOH and National design managers don't have the required talent and can't play hard ball with the might of Accenture

Anonymous said...

Now there's a thought:

'Andrew Constance makes the somewhat controversial suggestion that perhaps the federal government could abolish the federal departments of health and education and pass the savings onto states.

“I find it a bit rich from Joe Hockey saying hospitals and states are the responsibility of the states. If they’re not going to run schools and hospitals then why have federal bureaucracies in these areas? These are decisions they can make now to benefit us in that regard.” '
http://www.afr.com/p/national/joe_hockey_hard_budget_sell_begins_du7sK2MRtqpyw5HIVFBDLL

Maybe Health and Nehta have won the battle but lost the war.

Maybe Dutton is working out how to kill Nehta, the Department of Health as well as the pcehr. I can't see the states paying for the pcehr.

We can only wait and hope.

Anonymous said...

DOHA used to be the Department of Health and Ageing. Now it is the Department of Health and Accenture.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

The OAIC receives funding to carry out enforcement activities around the use of eHealth records.

According to the OAIC, it is to be abolished.

Australian Government’s Budget decision to disband OAIC
Authors: John McMillan, James Popple and Timothy Pilgrim
Published: May 13, 2014
http://www.oaic.gov.au/news-and-events/statements/australian-governments-budget-decision-to-disband-oaic/australian-government-s-budget-decision-to-disband-oaic

Quote:
The Privacy Act will continue to be administered by the Privacy Commissioner and supporting staff from an office based in Sydney. The FOI Act will be administered jointly: by the Attorney‑General’s Department (advice, guidelines, annual reporting), the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (merits review) and the Commonwealth Ombudsman (complaints). The information policy advice function currently discharged by the OAIC will cease.
end quote.

No mention of who (if anyone) might take on the eHealth enforcement activities.

The OAIC appropriation for 2013–14 is $10.6 million.

So, they'll spend $140million to keep the IT system that is the PCEHR ticking over, but can't justify $10million or so addressing information issues across eHealth and other areas.

Seems a warped set of priorities. Technology - good. Information/privacy - meh!

Anonymous said...

and the two-year Medicare Local eHealth contracts will cease on June 30 this year and will not be extended.

Lots of signs, not so many decisions.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the people who didn't tell Kevin Rudd and his cabinet that the pink batts program was in trouble are related to those who aren't telling Minister Dutton the full truth about ehealth.

Anonymous said...

Dear May 16, 2014 4:51 PM they all come from the same training school and they refine their skills through cross-fertilization between departments.

So they share a common DNA - survive at whatever cost, pass the good news upwards and push the bad news downwards, make the 'project' last as long as possible and when it starts to crumble step aside and create a new 'alternative' project along similar lines, then tell the Minister it will fix all the problems. Then transfer people and positions between departments to neutralise the corporate memory of the few competent people that do exist until, in total frustration, they depart the bureaucracy leaving the masters of the vegetable patch behind.

Anonymous said...

In the "old" days longevity in a job was well regarded. Now, certainly in government circles, those who are good move around and get new experiences and better jobs. Those who stay in one place do so, often, because they can't find anyone who will have them.

On a completely different topic, how long has Ms Halton been in her job? Since January 2002. Over 12 years.

Before that she was DepSec in PM&C where she ran the People Smuggling Taskforce in the infamous Children Overboard Affair. It is romoured that she got the secretary's job as a reward.