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.
Sunday, May 03, 2015
The Death Of the PCEHR Is Now Going To Be Drawn Out Forever. What Nonsense!
The costly electronic health scheme is a white elephant and should be scrapped, expert says.
The Abbott government will spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to salvage a Labor's electronic health scheme that has been branded an irredeemable failure.
Five hundred days after receiving a review into the e-health system – a scheme that has already cost taxpayers $1 billion over the last five years – the coalition still has not publicly announced whether it intends to save it or axe it.
But Fairfax Media has learnt the government has decided to try to save the system and will make the announcement in the May 12 budget. The rescue package is set to cost hundreds of millions of dollars over the next four years.
Labor announced the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record system in 2010, pledging to get it up and running within two years at a cost of less than $500 million. The scheme allows patients to opt in to a personal electronic record of their medical history.
However, five years later, the cost has more than doubled and less than 10 per cent of Australians have signed up – a little over 2 million people. And only a few hundred of the country's 1300 hospitals are on board.
Former health minister Peter Dutton was a critic of the scheme and ordered a review shortly after the Abbott government won power. The review delivered its report in December 2013, recommending a raft of changes – including that it be made an opt-out scheme, rather than opt-in.
Mr Dutton has never responded to the report, effectively leaving the scheme in a costly limbo.
New Health Minister Sussan Ley still isn't publicly saying what the future holds.
“It decided to proceed with the program partly because even scrapping it would cost many millions of dollars. That's because the government is legally obligated to continue to provide e-health records and store them for up to 130 years.”
Given the usage is so low this is just a fig leaf to try and cover a totally naked policy! A move to 'opt-out' will be, of course, an administrative and very expensive nightmare.
One has to wonder just where NEHTA will wind up fitting in all this.
I look forward to the enthusiastic reaction to this news from all around country. I am sure every doctor and patient in the country will be thrilled to see so much more investment is such a totally failed initiative.