I wanted to find what was said.
No mention. Pity about that!
Then I found this:
Rudd e-health plan a 'falsehood': Hockey
- UPDATED: Fran Foo
- From: Australian IT
- May 19, 2010
OPPOSITION Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey today outlined the Coalition's reasons for rejecting the federal government's controversial e-health records proposal.
In last week's budget Treasurer Wayne Swan said $467 million over two years will be set aside to introduce "personally controlled" individual electronic health records as part of the Rudd government's health reforms.
Patients will control what is stored on their health records and will decide which health professionals can view or add to their files.
According to Mr Hockey, the biggest barrier to e-health adoption was the fact that the Healthcare Identifiers Bill was still in limbo and giving the scheme half a billion dollars was akin to putting the cart before the horse.
"The fundamental issue about the current e-health initiative is the government hasn't even delivered on its e-health identifier ... an e-health identifier is obviously hugely important to health records," Mr Hockey said in answer to a question after his National Press Club budget response.
Under the HI Bill, all Australians using private or public health services will be assigned an identifier by Medicare over time, but the speed of uptake by private practitioners and hospitals will depend on their IT systems having the capability to "populate" internal records with the national number.
The bill has passed the lower house and is now due for debate in the upper house.
Mr Hockey's second reason for rejecting the government's plan was a lack of commitment from the states on software compatibility.
"I would want to see every state government sign up in blood that they're not going to have different software programs that are incompatible when it comes to e-health records.
"I just don't believe them when they say they've got good intentions about harmonising the software that is going to be behind e-health records."
His final reason was the funding element, which he says was grossly inadequate.
The government allocated $185.6m in 2010/11 to establish the base for an individual e-health records regime. In the following financial year it will receive $281.2m.
"The irony of the government's allocation in the budget is they're funded for the first two years but there's a great damn hole for the next two years.
"Hang on, how does that work?
"The first two years we're going to fund this e-health initiative but every single dollar stops for the next two years? It's a falsehood because you've got to keep investing in this so-called wonderful initiative," Mr Hockey said.
Lots more here:
I look forward to a willing debate and some real funding to actually address the issues raised by both sides.
I would love comments from all!
There are some comments on the Australian site here:
Right now I think we are all in never, never land!