Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stranger Things Have Happened!

The following really caught my attention as I was browsing for e-Health material last week!

http://www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2007/09_30/4_policy_politics_16.html

ELECTION COVERAGE

Canada's largest province heads to the polls

Healthcare issues omnipresent as Ontario election date approaches

By Graham Lanktree

Some have said the October 10 Ontario election is in large part a referendum on the current Liberal government's record managing the province's giant healthcare budget. With its large population, huge territory to administer and its ever-rising healthcare expenses, Ontario's campaign debate has thus far proven them right. Many of the most important battles between the three major parties have been waged over the sustainability of healthcare spending.

….. (See the URL for the full article)

This was only mildly interesting for someone on the other side of the world until I noticed the following paragraph further on in the article.

“Ontario's progress on e-health records (EHR) is well behind that of Alberta, BC and PEI, but the Liberals are still aiming for universal EHR coverage by 2014. The Conservatives make similar promises and say they will immediately take advantage of the federal funding for e-health programs the Liberals have missed out on.”

Good heavens – politicians on both sides wanting to spend on e-Health! How enlighted.

A little further research came across the following from the Opposition Leader.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2007/08/c6840.html

Tory to invest $8.5 billion in health funding


TORONTO, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - Progressive Conservative Party Leader John Tory today pledged to infuse Ontario's health care system with much needed funds,while improving results for taxpayers.


"When it comes to better planning for better health care, one thing matters most: results. We must ensure that the funding is in place to achieve these results," said Tory. "It all starts with a commitment to universal, publicly funded health care - that is guaranteed to grow."


Tory was in Toronto today to tour the Toronto East General Hospital.


Speaking outside the hospital, Tory said he will significantly increase health care investments so that by the last year of a PC Government, annual funding will be $8.5 billion more than it is today.


Tory's plan ensures that there are resources available to serve our aging population, our communities and our families. Key investments include:


  • $540 million over four years to support the implementation of electronic health records;

  • $400 million in new annual investments by 2011-2012 to recruit and retain doctors and nurses;

  • $100 million for new investments in long-term care, including capital renewal and increased food allowances;

  • $100 million for mental health initiatives with a focus on children and Aboriginal communities; and

  • $100 million to accelerate improvements in home care services, allowing more people the dignity of staying in their own home while reducing the strain on our hospitals and long-term care facilities.


Tory also committed that a PC government would provide additional growth funding for ommunities where health care services are increasingly strained because of a rapidly growing population.


"Instead of empty promises and wasteful spending, we will invest more in health care - to reduce wait times, improve service in underserved areas, and ensure that more Ontarians have access to a family doctor. For a stronger health care system, leadership matters."


What joy – the e-Health promise is at the top of the agenda!


I wonder can we “make it so” (Sorry Captain Picard) for the upcoming Australian election!


David.

1 comment:

Dr Ian Colclough said...

The critical words are: “the Liberals are still aiming for universal EHR coverage by 2014”. ……………… although that’s Ontario Canada speaking, the words could just as easily have come from down-under.

This raises the definition of ‘universal EHR coverage’. There are many who would have us believe that it means one, centralised, government controlled, EHR for each person in Australia? But is this really necessary? There is no real justification for one centralised database of everyone's medical records.

My EHR, that is the health information about ME stored in MY personal health record, should be populated with information deposited into it, with my permission, by MY various health care providers. I don’t expect to be able to write to that record but I do expect to be able to look at it. Also, I think that only MY health service providers should be able to write to MY personal health record.

Although, perhaps ….. yes, it would be helpful if I was permitted to write to some specifically tailored section of it - such as …. Patient self-monitoring for ….. ‘recording when I took my medications’, ‘my weekly weight’, and other things that my health care provider has asked me to very carefully monitor.

Who will develop the structure, the architecture, of MY EHR? And, who will then implement and test it, and prove that it works and that it can accept information from MY health care provider accurately and reliably? These are knotty questions which must be answered.

Also who will ‘hold’ MY record for me? Do I trust the government? Should I trust my health fund? I’m not absolutely sure, but I think I’d prefer to trust MY bank!

And who will pay for this service? I am quite prepared to make a contribution. Although it’s the Government which should be making the most substantial contribution as it is the Government which stands to gain most in terms of financial spin-offs.