Friday, October 21, 2016

It Seems Politicians Are In Trouble All Over For Privatising Health Information Management.

I spotted these articles just as the discussions over Telstra Health were coming to an end. It seems the Government of Ontario in Canada is having a look at maybe outsourcing e-Health.
First we have this:

Docs have 'grave concerns' about eHealth review

Worry patient privacy will be put at risk

By Shawn Jeffords, Political Bureau Chief
First posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 07:49 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016 07:55 PM EDT
TORONTO - Ontario’s doctors say they have “grave concerns” about a key review of eHealth by a government privatization guru.
Ontario Medical Association president Dr. Virginia Walley wrote to Ed Clark on Thursday to express the group’s concern about his review of the health records bureaucracy. Clark, the former TD Bank CEO who recommended the partial sale of Hydro One, was appointed Friday by Health Minister Eric Hoskins to look at the agency.
Clark’s been asked to find ways to appraise its potential to raise cash for the government as it tries to fund billions in infrastructure projects.
But Walley said patient privacy has to put before profit.
“To be absolutely clear, we are very concerned about any privatization that might occur without appropriate safeguards on patient data,” she said. “We hope that you will see our legitimate concerns on this very sensitive issue of patient privacy, particularly as government has given little attention to these matters over the last year.”
Walley says the government has gathered “massive” amounts of private patient data in recent years with no consent from people themselves. In the letter, she also asks to meet with Clark to discuss his review.
“The blunt reality is that we do not currently have a functional eHealth system that benefits patient care,” she said. “And it is unclear to us currently how your mandate from Minister Hoskins will help encourage or support this.”
Hoskins ruled out the sale of personal health information in a statement to the Toronto Sun.
More here:
Coverage is also found here:

Doctors worry about patient privacy as they speculate on government plans for eHealth

The province’s doctors are expressing ‘grave concerns’ about the government’s plans for the electronic health records agency.
Thu., Oct. 13, 2016
The province’s doctors are expressing “grave concerns” about the Liberal government’s plans for eHealth Ontario.
In the wake of Health Minister Eric Hoskins’ decision to ask Premier Kathleen Wynne’s privatization guru, Ed Clark, to appraise the monetary value of the electronic health records agency, the Ontario Medical Association is sounding the alarm over patient privacy.
“To be clear, Ontario’s physicians are very concerned about the sanctity of the information shared by their patients in the context of the physician-patient relationship,” wrote OMA president Dr. Virginia Walley in an open letter to Clark on Thursday.
“We have grave concerns about how your mandate from Minister Hoskins is being interpreted,” Walley wrote to the former TD Bank CEO, who now serves as an unpaid advisor to the premier.
“We are particularly concerned to read in media reports that the government may be seeking to monetize this data-gathering ability for profit,” she continued, as she urged “safeguards” to protect patients.
Walley, whose organization represents the province’s 42,000 doctors, also took issue with the government’s assertion that its digital health strategy is paying off dividends.
“The blunt reality is that we do not currently have a functional eHealth system that benefits patient care and it is unclear to us currently how your mandate from Minister Hoskins will help encourage or support this,” she wrote.
Her letter comes two months after doctors rejected a four-year contract negotiated by the OMA and the provincial government.
More here:
Interestingly the Minister involved here is from a centre left party – despite being called a Liberal.
From these articles it seems pretty clear that Ontario – which has a population close to 14 million – seems to also be struggling with e-Health if the doctors who work there are to be believed!
Things seem to be the same all over!


Anonymous said...

Yes David, things are the same all over and the bureaucrats in such jurisdictions are happy to perpetuate that status quo as it's in their interests to do so..

Anonymous said...

One of the common threads is the monetization of health data rather than its use to improve health as such. eHealth is increasingly seen as a pot of gold rather than something with a higher purpose that also allows you to pay the bills. Somewhere along the way society has lost the plot on this and somehow the bureaucracy views this a positive which suggests or perhaps confirms they have lost the plot. Even the head of the ADHA was trying to sell health data in the UK, which is hardly a higher purpose. We need passionate people to try and advance the science rather than this crony capitalism that lacks any care factor. The public are subconsciously aware of this with ideas such as "Follow the money" well established. I may be wrong but I doubt that the NASA employees that got us to the moon in 1969 did it for the money and the complete lack of real progress in eHealth of late is associated with shady deals that line the pockets of large players, without any benefit to the public.

This is one of the issues with awarding Telstra the cancer registry contract. They do not have the experience or culture or even really any ability to do it, but they have captured the $$$ and that is all they care about. Surely awarding the contract to a non profit registry who have demonstrable ability and expertise and passion is a better idea, but that thinking ignores the follow the money mentality that has infiltrated eHealth.

Currently we just seem to accept this, but there is a undercurrent of discontent, the same undercurrent that politicians like Trump has tapped into. It remains to be seen where the undercurrent will pull us, but trust in government and governance is is short supply, for good reasons.

Anonymous said...

Yes digital health and health data analytics are the new corporate honeypot. They circle everywhere globally because government is willing to spend $ in this area and increasingly spend big.

Watch out locally in the next few months as some who come from the corporate sector will try to shoulder their way into this space and take over. They will be the keepers of the health big data vision (although they had nothing to do with it's creation and have no track record in it), and they will know best because they come with an industry background. Silly us, they will show us all in healthcare how it is really done.

The money will flow their way because government is in thrall to industry here and devalues scientific and health leadership. When the deal is done, they will quietly pocket the money, and in the end little true benefit will accrue to healthcare because they don't really understand what the job is at all, and part from the motherhood 'data will save us' mantra, and their alpha male belief in their own abilities.

You heard it here first folks ...

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Have a look here for more of the same thrust.


Anonymous said...

Guess the money in Global warming has hit a drought period. Tim and his tin pots are showing signs of sculpting a future that Piero Manzoni would be proud of

Anonymous said...

The Government needs to have a long hard think about the future, innovation allows for mistakes and there is no shame in being open to change, look at NSW premier.

Please put in place real eHealth leadership before it is to late and many a good persons reputation is scared through proximity to the calamity coming.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link about Dr Foster and the NHS mortality stats. Now I am really concerned about the eHealth leadership that we have imported and the true motivation of DOHA. Wildly inaccurate stats about excess mortality have already been used to beat up Australian Health care providers, presumably to soften up the public for the need of DOHA to take control. This was done by extrapolating meaningless overseas stats to Australia with no effort to do any actual stats in Australia.

With such a naive Minster for Health it unlikely that anyone will see sense any time soon. If they are planning using MyEHR data to beat up Australian health care providers they could come to any conclusion they liked as the data quality is so poor its meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Desperation is the nec true of con artists, where is this so called transparency? The clinical folk are being pushed to one side as a second class citizen replaced with an attempt to scare the public into believing their health and well being is being handled by less than adequate professionals. They will do this by trawling for one in a million cases and market poor little Jonny or poor little Margaret - see how you the public are being let down. The U.K. Woke up to this, Australia it is not to late.

Trust me I saw all this in the NHS, it is the same pattern, laughable if it was not so concerning.

Anonymous said...

Anon, I think you mean Nectar :), you must be using an app from NHS Choices.

It is well worth reading the Uk Governments Major Projects Authority report on these matters.

In a damning assessment, the Major Projects Authority said both – a plan to link and store all patient data in a single database – and NHS Choices – the website supposed to allow users to log in and access medical services – had “major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable”. (Quote from the Guardian news paper)

So someone who struggles at a project level is leading a Strategy at a National level? I can't wait to see the emergence of that.

Anonymous said...

We may well have a crusader on our hands determined to somehow prove his vision of a perfect society will work somewhere no matter the cost. It does not take a lot of looking to understand the path that we may now be heading towards and the long reaching and long term damage to the health system, health care workers, patients and public trust in general.