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.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
It Seems NEHTA Finds It Helpful To Pay People To Turn Up and Listen To Them. They Must Have A Great Message Or Is It Something Else?
THEY'VE produced an e-health record that so far can't be used by doctors, but the bureaucrats in charge last year spent more than $5 million on travel and on stakeholders in five-star hotels.
The National e-Health Transition Authority, with 257 employees, told a Senate estimates committee it spent $4.3m on travel in 2011-12 and more than $1m on events, conferences and dinners in five-star hotels.
Liberal National Party senator Sue Boyce said that after five years and hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money, all NEHTA had managed to deliver was a toll-free number.
"It's clearly time for an independent review of the performance and expenditure of NEHTA," she said.
Opposition primary healthcare spokesman Andrew Southcott said despite a budget of $218m over three years, NEHTA had still to deliver an e-health record that could be used by patients and doctors.
The revelation comes after NEHTA pulled out of a roadshow for Australian surgeons in Kuala Lumpur after inquiries by The Australian.
Earlier this year, NEHTA told the Senate it had spent $37,000 on entertainment between July last year and February.
This week, the agency revealed that amount did not include more than $1m it spent on stakeholder engagement events, conferences and dinners. One event at Sydney's InterContinental Hotel in April was attended by about 100 people who were offered steak and seafood, creme brulee or a chocolate dessert, and wine.
Read more about the extravagances and excess here:
These are NEHTA’s responses to Questions on Notice following the Budget Senate Estimates hearings a month or so back.
There are about 51 questions and most are just ducked and or rather arrogantly ignored.
Question 49 is just a ripper!
Senate Community Affairs Committee
ANSWERS TO ESTIMATES QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
National e-Health Transition Authority (NeHTA)
Budget Estimates 2012-13
OUTCOME 10.2: e-Health
Topic: Practitioner training for the PCEHR
Senator Boyce asked:
During Estimates Mr Peter Fleming was asked a very specific question and I quote; “How many Practitioners will be trained to use the PCEHR as of June 30 2012?”
The question wasn’t answered, it’s a number between 0 and 10,000, could you tell me the exact number please?
If that is true - there are pigs flying past my study as I type. Given not a single practitioner has software to connect to the PCEHR as yet what does this answer mean? And how would such an exact number have been determined?
We won’t even discuss that it seems the blogger (Question 1) who opposes what I do seeking openness and transparency in Australian e-Health, and doing it for nothing, is being paid by NEHTA on a ‘commercial in confidence’ basis. I wonder is the public getting value for money for these funds?
It seems to me NEHTA treating the Senate the way they are is likely to lead to some very sudden vacancies there should the next Federal Election turn out as presently seems almost inevitable. Pretty gutsy behaviour I reckon.