The sad fact this is pretty much the only occasion serious questions can be asked of DoHA (NEHTA is out of the loop due to the fiction of being a limited company and so not eligible for accountability to Parliament - what a joke!) every six months.
Going by past ones we can be sure there will be only about an hour (if that) on e-Health and that all the responses will be spun to obfuscate and reveal as little as possible of what is going on.
If it were me I would concentrate on only two or three areas.
The first would be on the Personally Controlled EHR (PCEHR).
I would be keen to hear of the actual literature based evidence of patient benefit the Government is using to justify the in investing $466M in the 2 year PCEHR Program?
It would be fun to ask if a cost / benefit assessment of the PCEHR proposal had been done and what it revealed. It there was not one done would be fun to ask why not? (I suspect it is all just gut feel on the part of the now passed National Health and Hospital Reform Commission)
I would also like to ask when is the Government going to publish the proposed functional specifications and technical architectures of the planned PCEHR so there can be informed review and discussion of the plans before tender and the like are released? I fear we will just be told, as usual, what it is we are getting with no hint of serious consultation!
On the Health Identifier Service I would like to get a feel for issues like where things were up to - how much it had cost so far and when it was actually going to be demonstrably of benefit to clinicians and patients.
It would also be fun to understand what DoHA thinks the estimated ongoing costs for continuing operation of the HI Service will be - for Government and for users and when the service will be fully operational and in use around the country based on the first four and a half months of progress.
Lastly I would like to know if DoHA is at some point going to fund implementation of the National E-Health Strategy and when they plan to implement the National e-Health Governance arrangements recommended in that Strategy. If that is not going to happen it would be good to know what the ‘real’ plan is!
That should be enough I reckon! I bet we wind up being ‘mushroomed’ again as usual - but one can hope!