I am increasing convinced we need to apply some pressure to the polity to reign in and externally review NEHTA and its profligate and increasingly failed activities.
I am hearing informally that there is increasing internal concern that the flagship Identifier Projects are becoming less and less likely to be successfully delivered, if for no other reason that planning for how what NEHTA is developing will actually interface with the existing health system remains both vague and incompletely worked through. The deadlines for delivery of anything useful, if at all, appear to be increasingly extended.
Below is a possible form of words to assist in formulating an e-mail or letter.
Contact details for all MPs and Senators can be found here:
Dear (Local Member’s Name)
Re: An Impending Very Expensive and Wasteful Failure of a Government Funded Entity.
The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) was established just on five years ago (as a company limited by guarantee with each State and Federal Jurisdiction as Shareholders) to improve the operation of the National Healthcare System through the use of information technology.
Despite the expenditure of now of over $125M dollars very little has been achieved to improve the health services received by the Australian Community.
Evidence is increasingly accumulating of deep organisational malaise within NEHTA which is being manifested by high staff turnover levels and a worsening culture of organisational threat and disempowerment as it becomes increasingly clear most of the organisations objectives are unlikely to be met without a dramatic relocation of the goalposts.
Health informatics experts with which I am in touch are increasingly sceptical of NEHTA’s capacity to deliver and it is important as little good money as possible is thrown after that already spent
As would be expected vested interests in the Commonwealth Department of Health, who have publicly supported NEHTA at forums such as Senate Estimates Hearings, have a strong desire to prevent any review that may suggest they have been less that fully frank about the current chances of the overall success of NEHTA’s objectives. This makes the need for such a review even more urgent.
What I am suggesting is that you ask the Federal Health Minister to ask the Auditor General to undertake a financial, performance and value for money review of NEHTA so that I and the public at large can be assured our hard earned tax dollars are not being wasted.
Whether you are from either Government or Opposition you clearly have an interest in having a very small percentage of the funds expended so far to ensure the money has been well and usefully spent.
Maybe now the e-mail regarding climate change have settled we can have some impact in getting NEHTA back on some useful rails.
I really hope so.