This is a really good piece of news.
24 March 2009 10:56 AM
The Federal Government's lack of a true electronic health agenda had left an opposition offer of bipartisanship on the issue dangling useless by the wayside, Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said yesterday.
"[Health and Aging Minister] Nicola Roxon and I don't always have a perfect made in heaven relationship, but nonetheless, when I first sat down with Nicola coming into this portfolio only six months ago I gave her an undertaking that we would — on the issue of e-health — provide bipartisan support," Dutton said speaking yesterday at the Annual Health Congress in Sydney.
“We've seen no evidence of an agenda which we can support as we go forward”
The upfront expense and long lead times of e-health solutions meant that the benefits wouldn't be delivered for what was politically, a long time, according to Dutton.
Yet the offer was not being used, the shadow minister said: "I offered that bipartisanship from day one. The offer stands today, and we've seen no evidence of an agenda which we can support as we go forward."
His comments echoed those made by Booz and Company principal Klaus Boehncke at the conference. "It's fair to say that political leadership has not been exhibited here as it has elsewhere," he said, pointing to US President Barack Obama, who put e-health onto the agenda in his first address at the White House, the German Federal Health Minister Ulla Schmidt's spruiking of her country's e-health card and the tremendous drive in Singapore to get electronic health records up and running by 2010.
Much more here in a long and useful article
I have to say that one of the things I have been hoping would happen for a good while now was that the Opposition notice the hopeless way Minister Roxon is handling e-Health and bring some pressure to bear to have the game lifted.
She seems so determined to avoid any part in the debate that it has seemed to me for a good while now that only the Opposition could flush her out of her foxhole!
Heavens knows there is plenty of evidence that DoHA and NEHTA are both in desperate need of serious strategic leadership which they are simply not getting and which is leading to the saga’s that we saw play out in the blog over the last 10 days or so.
Minister Roxon on your to-do list for e-health over the next couple of months are the following:
1. Make sure the outcomes in the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) final report take full advantage and promise of e-Health and that e-Health is a key enabler of Health Reform.
2. Review in detail and then announce your response, and associated implementation approach, to the National E-Health Strategy which has been developed by Deloittes for AHMC.
3. Review the happenings in the e-prescribing domain and act to ensure that the public interest is being fully protected with what is going on.
4. Review the proposed PIP agenda to make it more practical and much more clearly linked to quality use of computers by clinicians and clinical outcomes.
These four areas would make for a very good start.
If you fail to ‘carpe diem’ ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpe_diem ) and act to address these points dear minister, you are a very great risk of going down as one of the worst Health Ministers the Commonwealth has ever had.