Wednesday, September 14, 2011
They Are Rushing Ahead Silly Them. The E-Health Component of Health Reform Looks A Trifle Optimistic - To Say The Least!
Late last week we had this really ‘puff-piece’ press release appear.
The plan charting the path for national health reform implementation has been released by Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon.
7 September 2011
The plan charting the path for national health reform implementation was released today by Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon.
"The Implementation Plan shows how the benefits of health reform—increasing the sustainability of public hospitals, delivering unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability, less waste and significantly less waiting for patients—will be achieved.
“It builds on the extensive progress that has already been made in the past 18 months by consumers, clinicians and governments in achieving health reform.
"To support national health reform, the Commonwealth has committed $66.6 billion in key new health spending measures since 2007. At least $19.8 billion of this will provide more beds and better care in our hospitals over the next decade.
“The Implementation Plan outlines the plans and milestones to be met in achieving health reform in: hospitals, GP and primary care, aged care, mental health, national standards and performance, workforce, prevention and eHealth.
“For example, the plan outlines in detail the different components of the $2.2 billion package of mental health reforms announced by the Commonwealth.
“Work also continues to establish the National Health Performance Authority and the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority as the Commonwealth successfully moves its health reform Bills through the Parliament.
"National Health Reform: Progress and Delivery demonstrates the significant progress in implementing health reform that has already been made,” Ms Roxon said.
There is then a list of achievements (not mentioning e-Health) that can be found here:
You can download the 72 page document from this direct link.
E-Health coverage begins on Page 58.
Here is the overview provided
The Commonwealth Government recognises the significant value of eHealth in underpinning the agile, patient-centred health system that national health reform aims to facilitate.
This recognition of the importance of eHealth has been marked with two landmark investments. The first, $467 million over 2010–11 to 2011–12, will deliver the key national components of an electronic health record system, so that all Australians who choose to
can have access to a personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR). Over time this investment will deliver substantial benefits to consumers and the health system by reducing the potential for medication errors and duplication of tests.
The Government will also invest $621 million over five years to support and expand telehealth services. This initiative is intended to address some of the barriers to access to medical services, and specialist services. In particular, this will benefit Australians in remote, regional and outer metropolitan areas.
Together with the Government’s investments in the National Broadband Network, these investments will begin to enable consumers to be more active in their health care management, regardless of where they live or when they seek care.
Pages 63 and 64 provide an overview implementation plan with costing.
This is really remarkable as it:
1. Shows the money really does stop June 30, 2012 - just before you are meant to be able to sign up for a PCEHR.
2. That Standards to be used in the PCEHR system are yet to be sorted out - which makes one wonder just how all the Wave 1 and Wave 2 sites will glue together, if at all. I note the MSIA as saying in The Australian that the PCEHR is a ‘standards free zone’.
3. Governance is coming much later - so anyone who tells this system anything about themselves is really taking a risk regarding what may happen to their information!
And so it goes on. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to rate the chances of all this actually working and working out!
Already we know the Standards work is badly delayed due to the delays in having DoHA and Standards Australia agree on a new contract. This only happened a day or so ago - 2.5 months late!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, September 14, 2011