Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Coalition for E-Health Wrote to the Prime Minister A Week or So Ago. Letter Now Released.

Here is the release e-mail.


Dear Colleagues,

There was only limited response from COAG around e-health and no feedback other than acknowledgement of receipt from the PM, despite the opportunity presented by being in the same place (broadband forum) last week and so it would seem sensible to make our letter public.

Although the PM did say supportive things in his speech and interestingly Jane Halton came out in the forum saying there were only two things she wanted to get up in her current tenure they were improvement in Aboriginal health and e-health! This is the strongest statement I have heard from the Department.

Please use whatever channels at your disposal to make the contents of the letter known (attached for convenience).





President, Health Informatics Society of Australia

End e-mail

The letter can be downloaded from here:


Of course, Ms Halton then went on to say there was no money and she would have to rob Peter to pay Paul.

That perspective just reveals how 'detached from reality' Ms Halton and her Minister and PM are. Has no on pointed out to them investments in Health IT actually make money and improve quality and efficiency over the longer term.

Investment of this sort is a core Government function in my view! That's what her e-Health Strategy (that she has been spruiking) says at least!

The CeH letter is a good one and should be taken notice of.

The CeH can be found here:


Bah Humbug! And so close to Christmas.



Anonymous said...

The Prime Minister cannot have been unaware of the controversy in the media arounde health and NEHTA. He and his parliamentary colleagues will be reassured that the Coalition for E-Health is strongly supportive of NEHTA and comfortable with its "coherent vision and roadmap", even more so with the Coalition's reassurance that the States and Territories are also progressively aligning at long last.

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

I agree with the general thrust of the letter. (i.e. action and investment are needed) However, between the late draft I saw and the final some words of praise for NEHTA were added which I do not agree with. I am not at all comfortable with what NEHTA is doing - just so that is clear.


Anonymous said...

Oh oh. I agree, it is a good balanced letter. What a pity the version you saw was meddled with. Too late now to do anything about it. The rules of the game are clear. The message is unambiguous - regardless of your views. A few words will be quoted from the letter ad infinitum. These are the facts and the facts are these - The Coalition for eHealth strongly supports NEHTA and that includes all those organizations on the list attached to the letter that is now in the public arena. Don't be surprised if these words appear on NEHTA's slide presentations from hereon. Can you think of a better Christmas present for Peter Flemming.

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

I agree - nothing to be done. The thrust of the draft letter I saw was about getting on with the National E-Health Strategy saying that would help overall health reform. That I still support.

While Peter Fleming may have a good Christmas this year it will be next year when the 'rubber will hit the road'. I don't believe it will be pretty - but we will all see.


Anonymous said...

When I first read the letter I thought Who is The Coalition for eHealth?

The names of organizations looks quite impressive. Probably the first thing The Prime Minister's Office will want to know is:
Is it a legally constituted entity?
Does it have a Constitution?
Who are the Office bearers?
Has it appointed a Spokesperson and under what 'rules'?
By what authority is the letter signed?
Why is the signatory so vague as Michael Legg for the Coalition for E-Health?

Anonymous said...

I think the Coalition for eHealth was put together by HISA but whether they are approved to speak on behalf of all the 50+ organisations listed is a moot point. It would be reassuring if they clarified the situtation.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if all the organisations who have their names associated with the coalition formally signed off on this letter - I know that for a fact because the organisation I represent did not sign off - and that is a pity as that diminishes the potential for the Coalition. It's an important grouping and gives a voice to otherwise quite small organisations.

Rather we are sent an email, and a few days later it becomes 'policy'. Silence is assent, when it is just as likely to mean "too busy with other crises at home", or the email wasn't read. Hardly a robust governance arrangement, but somewhat understandable.

Having said that it would have been better if the letter was signed by the representatives of these organisations (as many as could), rather than just Michael. Leaves a bad taste that we are just 2nd fiddle support.