This blog is totally independent, unpaid and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
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."
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Now Here Is a Good Place for Mr Rudd to Spend some Health Funds!
Again, today we have a major spending announcement from the Federal Government as we head towards the COAG Health System Summit on the 19th of April, 2010.
PM announces towns to get cancer centres
April 7, 2010 - 1:04PM
Kevin Rudd and his team have taken to regional Australia to spread the word about which bush centres will get new or upgraded cancer treatment facilities.
The cancer treatment centres will be funded through a $560 million fund, announced in last year's budget.
The prime minister is in Townsville on Wednesday spruiking his health and hospital reform plans.
The government is continuing a slow release of health announcements as part of its strategy to win over premiers to the plan, which would see the commonwealth take over majority funding of public hospitals.
They need to get on board before a Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) meeting on April 19.
In a statement, Mr Rudd said patients in the bush had higher mortality rates with some cancers.
"With some cancers, patients from rural areas are up to three times more likely to die within five years of diagnosis than their urban counterparts," he said.
"Regional Cancer Centres will enable regional Australians to receive care closer to home and their community."
I guess as we see the odd ½ billion here and there pretty soon it will add up to ‘real money’. Don’t get me wrong this is vitally needed infrastructure for a segment of the population who have fallen well behind in clinical outcomes.
However I have a suggestion for a few percent of that amount which would also make a difference.
Yesterday the US announced the following:
ONC awards $84 million to expand health IT workforce
By Mary Mosquera Monday, April 05, 2010
The Office of the National Health IT Coordinator last week awarded $84 million in grants to 16 universities and junior colleges to develop education and training programs to boost the number of skilled health IT workers available to help healthcare providers over the hurdles of adopting health IT.
ONC aims over time to reduce an estimated shortage of 50,000 workers in the health IT sector of the economy. That workforce is an important part of making the meaningful use of electronic health records a reality, said Dr. David Blumenthal, the national health IT coordinator, in the announcement April 2.
Among the grant awards, five community colleges received $36 million to establish a multi-institutional program within each designated region, totaling up to 70 community colleges participating. The awardees included Pitt Community College in North Carolina, and Bellevue College in Washington.
Each college will create non-degree training programs that can be completed in six months or less. The training program will focus on people who already have some background in health or information technology. Another $34 million will be available to the community colleges in the second year.
Now I am sure for an amount of less than $10 million we could establish and staff 3-4 lead centres across the country and leverage what we already have into a real capability that could really stimulate interest and provide the skills we will surely need at some time in the future.
Of course I am sure a good deal of the course development work being done in the US could also be of much use here!
Some small seeding funds could build the relationships etc needed to make a serious start!
I know work has been done on all this by the Australian Health Informatics Education Council
Essentially we have had enough reports. Time for action and the spending of a few dollars! Of course I am also a bit worried that all the free money will be used up - we do have a few dollars of debt at present, post GFC you know! - and that there will be nothing for e-Health!