Sunday, June 09, 2013

This Is Clearly Bureaucracy Gone Stark Raving Mad. DoHA Has Just Lost It.

The following popped up a day or so ago.

Medicare Locals bound by red tape

7th Jun 2013
MEDICARE Local staff spent more than 40,000 hours in a single year preparing reports to justify to the Department of Health and Ageing how they were spending its money, research reveals.
The survey of all 61 MLs, conducted by the Australian Medicare Local Alliance, also found staff had to prepare almost 2000 separate reports – almost one per week for each ML – to explain their progress to the department.
The workload saw ML staff dedicating over three months of the year solely to meeting reporting requirements for the department.
The AML Alliance seized on the figures as evidence that the contracts swamping MLs – in some cases up to 35 separate funding streams for a single ML – must be cut back. But the Opposition, which has pledged a formal review of MLs if elected in September, said the figures showed Labor had created MLs “bound in red tape”.
AML Alliance CEO Claire Austin said she raised the issue with the department almost immediately after being appointed in February and she had made it a priority to work with Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and the department to streamline paperwork.
“At the moment the level of compliance time cost is incredibly onerous.”
Shadow parliamentary secretary for primary healthcare Dr Andrew Southcott said the figures were “staggering” and “proof that the Medicare Locals have been bound by red tape”.
More gruesome details are found here:
Some astonishing figures are in an associated graphic e.g.:
1. Only 53% of ML staff (3000 apparently) are working on program and services
2. There were 1943 reports prepared for Health Departments in 12 months
3. 41,389 hours were spent by staff preparing reports.
On the assumption of  say a salary of $80,000 p.a. for these staff that is $1.5M p.a. in just reporting.
How can Medicare Locals claim to be providing services when almost ½ their efforts are spent in admin etc.?
What is going on here is a Government Department that is meant to be involved in policy wrongly getting involved in delivery and simply grossly over managing as it does not know any better - and is scared of a ‘pink bats’ like problem.
I have said in the past that Medicare Locals looked a little like a solution in search of a problem. They now seem rather more to be a ‘bug in search of a windscreen’!
I wonder how efficiently the e-Health programs are being run by DoHA if we have this as an example of implementation capability.

1 comment:

Jim Cocks said...

Not only that but most of the MLs employ at least 1 (and in the case of a large rural ML 3)eHealth staff on a contract basis. One wonders what they are all doing - supposedly PCEHR but I would guess a fair range of other duties as well.