Sunday, May 04, 2014

Minister Dutton Reflects Pre-Budget On The Health System and The PCEHR.

This speech was given last week.

Address to the George Institute for Global Health

Minister for Health, Peter Dutton's address to the George Institute for Global Health on 1 May 2014.
Page last updated: 01 May 2014
1 May 2014
  • Professor Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director, George Institute Australia
  • Jo Degney, Manager Philanthropy and Partnerships, George Institute
My first words must be to congratulate the Institute for its ongoing work in this country and around the world to improve health outcomes.
The Institute is remarkable in many ways.
Its research focus is on health innovations that provide quick, simple and effective improvements especially in relation to chronic disease and injury.
The funding model is also unique – effectively raising funds by providing first class management of large scale clinical trials, usually for other organisations, and also attracting considerable funding from the Australian Government.
Since 2010, the George Institute has won around $6.5 million dollars in competitive grants from NHMRC, including research scholarships, project grants, and Global Alliance for Chronic Disease grants.
It makes me proud as Australia’s Health Minister to see Institutes like the George and others in this great city and around the country, leading the world in cutting edge research.
Our medical research workforce is second to none in the world, and it is an aspect of our health system that doesn’t receive the recognition and funding it deserves.
My intent is to make sure we change this into the future.
At the moment our country is rightly focusing on changes that will need to take place in our health system so that we can make it sustainable in to the future.
It is obvious that, with an ageing population, and the enormous future cost of emerging medical technologies, genomics and personalised medicines, we need to show the leadership to make changes today so that we can strengthen Medicare and the health system more generally for tomorrow.
That will mean as I said before the election and indeed since, the Government is totally committed to re-building general practice. No hair brained super clinic programs for marginal seats thought up on a Government jet, but providing greater support to our primary care network, and we will do that not just through funding, but through a greater concentration of our doctors efforts on those with the most need.
It will concentrate not just on remuneration, but on scope of practice and advanced payment models, including greater support from the private insurers.
It means rolling out an e-health record with practical application and a genuine desire to work with and not against doctors.
And it is a discussion about how we improve our health system to ensure we will always care for those without any means, whilst at the same time asking those with a capacity to pay to contribute fairly.
Lots more of the quite long speech is here:
There is coverage here:

Dutton confirms Govt will keep PCEHR

Changes to rollout flagged.

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed the Government will keep the controversial personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) scheme following an audit into the $1 billion project.
"The government remains committed to an electronic health record," he said at Sydney's George Institute for Global Health today.
"It is absolutely essential to have a record, so that we can provide tracking and advice around every intervention and the success or otherwise of those interventions."
But he also flagged a number of changes to the rollout of the PCEHR - which was initiated by the former Labor Government - that he promised to detail further in the lead up to the 13 May federal budget.
He accused the former Government of spending "over a billion dollars" on the PCEHR to achieve less than 20,000 "meaningful" registrations to use the tool.
"I'm going to change that," he pledged. "The problem with the electronic health record is that the previous government fought with doctors, they didn't work with them."
Here is the link:
While the speech was largely devoted to saying that the health budget was growing too quickly and that ‘targeted’ medical research was a very good thing there was a mention of electronic health records that I mentioned last week. See here:
The brief remarks were as follows:
(in the context of strengthening and rebuilding General Practice).
“It means rolling out an e-health record with practical application and a genuine desire to work with and not against doctors.”
Given this is obviously a carefully planned and researched set piece speech we must take the published words seriously to understand what is intended to be communicated, and I am not sure I saw what the press report said in the published speech.
What I read is the following:
1. The specific PCEHR is not mentioned at all. This suggests just continuing with the PCEHR Program as it is, is not very likely - or Minister would presumably and probably have said so.
2. Whatever is to be done needs to be practical - and presumably effective.
3. Whatever is planned needs to have the support of the clinical community.
4. There needs to be a genuine desire to work with clinicians - which would have to suggest that anything that is to be done could hardly be undertaken by the Halton led collection of DoH  e-health bureaucrats and the Gonski / Fleming led NEHTA both of which have worked very hard indeed to annoy and frustrate clinicians at every turn - to the extent that the clinical leads for NEHTA just bailed out - despite the relatively high pay.
If I read this correctly, major and radical change is on the way.
What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pity we can't see the review report. I am not sure what they will be able to do to make it more effective. But I think the doctors have made it clear - do it their way or they won't use it!
It is probably easier to keep going than to switch it off now - what would they do with the 1.5 million records that are now there? How could we trust them to start over again? They will probably have a go at making it work better, and then if they fail, they can just blame the previous Labour Government. "We tried to fix that mess, but…"