Thursday, August 22, 2013

Coalition Health Policy Announced Today. E-Health Not Mentioned Much!

This was released today.

Tony Abbott - The Coalition's policy to support Australia's health system

The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System will tackle chronic diseases, provide faster access to newly approved medicines, invest in Australia’s medical workforce and prepare the health system for the demographic changes ahead.
A healthier Australia means a stronger and more productive Australia.
The last Coalition government delivered a world class health system underpinned by a growing, strong economy. The Coalition has the experience to deliver real changes to our health system and to ensure those changes are sustainable into the long term.
The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System will:
  • Deliver greater community involvement in the management and responsibility of local hospitals;
  • Restore the independence of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and restore integrity to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing process so that medicines can get to patients faster;
  • Provide the Health Minister with authority to list medicines recommended by the PBAC that do not cost more than $20 million in any of the first four years of its listing;
  • Bring forward the proposed roll-out of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme;
  • Develop a new National Diabetes Strategy as well as provide $35 million to find a cure for Type One Diabetes;
  • Restore the Private Health Insurance Rebate as soon as we responsibly can;
  • Deliver a more efficient funding model for hospitals through activity-based funding
  • Strengthen primary care by providing $52.5 million to expand existing general practices for teaching and supervision and invest $119 million to double the practice incentive payment for teaching in general practice;
  • Provide 500 additional nursing and allied health scholarships for students and health professionals in areas of need as well as $40 million for 400 medical internships;
  • Review the Medicare Locals structure to ensure that funding is being spent to support frontline services.
Our approach to health will be careful, collegial and consultative. We will work with the states and territories in delivering a world class health system.
By contrast, Kevin Rudd’s own former health minister described his approach to health reform as “cynical” and potentially “a disaster”.
With demand for health services expected to grow, we want to direct more resources to the frontline and remove unnecessary bureaucracy. We believe this is possible as the Commonwealth now has 18 separate health agencies in addition to the Department of Health.
Our approach to direct more resources to the frontline is in stark contrast to the $1.6 billion in cuts – some of which were retrospective – with which Labor hit our state hospitals.
By cutting waste, streamlining bureaucracy and providing strong and competent leadership, we can then provide much-needed resources to areas such as the provision of dental services to disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.
The Coalition has a proud record of strong and capable leadership in health.
As part of the last Coalition government, we delivered a Medicare Safety Net, a four-fold increase in medical research funding, a strong private health insurance industry that took pressure off the public system, a Medicare dental scheme for those with a chronic disease and the largest investment in mental health in Australian history at the time.
The best guarantee for a strong and sustainable health system is proper management of the budget and the economy by a government that can live within its means. Only the Coalition has demonstrated it can deliver this.
The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System is part of our Real Solutions Plan to build a stronger Australia and a better future for all Australians.
Here is the link:
Seems the e-Health Program is not big enough to attract much attention - or is what they have to say going to be negative? Would have been nice to hear something solid?

In the full .pdf of the policy a review of the PCEHR is mentioned.

Page 15:

"Health professionals will be increasingly reliant on effective e-health tools to better
coordinate care, particularly for patients with complex health conditions. Unfortunately, the Labor Government has failed to deliver on its Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

Despite the $1 billion price tag, only 4,000 records are reported to be in existence. In recent weeks, the clinical advisers for Labor's e-health record program have quit
en masse, leaving the Federal Government's flagship programme floundering with virtually no clinical oversight.

If elected, the Coalition will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the true status of the PCEHR implementation. In government, the Coalition implemented successful incentives to computerise general practice and will continue to provide strong in principle support for a shared electronic health record for patients.The Coalition will again work
with health professions and industry to prioritise implementation following a full
assessment of the current situation."

 The ALP also does not seem to mention the issue. See here:

Seems like both sides detect a need to say very little.



Anonymous said...

Arguably a true skeleton festering in both main parties closets, so little wonder either Glasshouse resident isn't keen on throwing any stones on this very embarrassing eHealth topic!

"Sure Kev, I won't point out your party's dirty laundry where I've got plenty of soiled garments there myself, that you can bank on."

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that Dr Chris Mitchell, head of change and adoption at Nehta and former RACGP president has also resigned. It is understood that the NEHTA clinical unit has been effectively shut down by the CEO. A clinical program with NO clinicians. Now that must say something!

Anonymous said...

This must be because DOHA is taking over the reins completely. They set up NEHTA so they could do things at a distance, to take the blame and to be exempt from FOI and audits. They made sure it was 'funded' by all the states and territories (a compulsory deduction from their budget allocation) - to spread the accountability and make it look like a consensus. They contracted NEHTA to be the Project Managers to get the HI Service and the PCEHR up and running. If there are faults now, then Nehta can be blamed (as they are being). The Concept of Operations and the consultation was a nice front, but in the background DOHA did it their way, heavily influenced by big consoling companies. Now that PCEHR is 'business as usual', we will see DOHA, the hero, setting up its own 'clinical governance' for the PCEHR, with a committee of unpaid volunteer representatives from various organisations. Perhaps they might close NEHTA down altogether? Or do they have some more 'projects' for them to do?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "heavily influenced by big consoling companies"

Was that a Freudian slip?

Anonymous said...

Nothing to worry about here.

At the ICT consultative forum today Mr Fleming (now winner of the world record of number of clinicians to quit an e-Health organisation) confirmed there is no change to clinical engagement and all is well. (other than there are no clinicians left)

Anonymous said...

I agree, Mr Flemming's quite amazing. 007 has got nothing on him. We are in safe hands, all is well. Trust me, and let me assure you I don't know what I don't know and I don't know how to find out what I don't know.

Anonymous said...

The ICT Consultative forum was also notable for the absence of any really senior state reps. The so-called "CIO panel" in particular was a fizzer with no actual state CIOs bothering to attend. The closest thing was the deputy from Tasmania...

The woman from NSW Health in particular seemed to be several rungs down the ladder - no offence to her as an individual is meant - I'm expect she was "volunteered" - but definitely not the level the audience want to hear from...