The 2009/10 Budget has been released and those concerned with e-Health have again been obfuscated and let down as best I can tell!
Go here and download the .pdf for the details.
Search for “e-Health” finds really pretty much nothing except some spending in Northern Tasmania. The core material is on Page 271 and a few following pages.
It seems we are to have IHIs (identifiers) implemented by 2012/13 (way later than expected adoption) and that investment in e-Health implementation is to move from $55M to 57M next year. (Page 272)
Amazingly the Program 10.2 (e-Health Implementation) shrinks by 2012/13 from $50M to 30M or so.
The guts of what DoHA is saying is here (Page 281):
“In 2009-10, the Department will develop a legislative and regulatory framework to support the use of identifiers in the delivery of health services, and will support the development of appropriate levels of protection of health information to ensure the privacy of an individual’s health information. This will help to provide consumers with confidence that their personal health information is managed in a secure environment. The Department will work closely with State and Territory Governments, professional groups and consumers to support the development of this infrastructure.
The Department will also support secure messaging services to assist the widespread take-up of electronic referrals, prescribing and discharge summaries, and develop policy parameters for a long-term approach to IEHRs.
The national approach to e-Health has continued through the development of a National E-Health Strategy, supported by all jurisdictions, which provides a structured focus for considering national e-Health implementation. The National E-Health Strategy includes a practical roadmap for further national e-Health development and implementation by the Australian, State and Territory Governments, and allows prioritisation of existing and future investment in national e-Health infrastructure and activities. The Strategy was endorsed by all Health Ministers at the Australian Health Ministers Conference meeting in October 2008. The Government is seeking policy and implementation advice from the Department on e-Health issues to develop its response to the National E-Health Strategy.”
Slightly earlier in the document we find (on Page 222) this rubbish.
“Support for General Practices in Delivering Care
To meet the Australian Government’s objectives for this initiative, the Department will introduce a new Practice Incentives program e-Health Incentive in August 2009. The aim for the incentive is to encourage general practices to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in e-Health and will require practices to have secure messaging capability, public key infrastructure certificates, and use electronic clinical resources. This incentive will assist practices to improve administration processes and the quality and safety of patient care. This incentive also lays the foundation for practices to securely exchange information such as discharge summaries, pathology reports and specialist reports electronically, send electronic referrals and pathology orders, and to participate in prescribing electronically as the technology emerges. This incentive has been developed in consultation with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), and aligns with the directions set out in the National E-Health strategy. The Department will continue to work closely with NEHTA and Medicare Australia to assist practices to understand and meet the technical requirements of this incentive”
This initiative has and continues to set records for the worst planned and executed in DoHA history!
Overall Translation of Document – We have no clue what to do strategically so we will just provide nonsense words to shut the Minister up on e-Health. Of course there is no funding to implement the National e-Health Strategy I can see.
I am amazed just how often the National E-Health Strategy – that has not been made public – is used to justify what is done. How can we know if it is being followed if we can't see it?. Open Government bah!
Not funding the implementation of the National E-Health Strategy is just an appalling oversight for which all responsible should be condemned. The time has come!
Pathetic and hopeless. Thoughts of this lot's ability in organising a drinking party in a brewery and an inability to do so with unlimited funds flash to mind!