Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Has The Top E-Health Bureaucrat At The Federal Health Department Recently Jumped Ship?

This Org. Chart for Federal Health Department was brought to my attention today - pointing out that Mr Paul Madden (previously the Senior Advisor in the area) has vanished.

Here is the link to the Org. Chart:


Can anyone confirm the information and / or provide further information on his fate?

Comments welcome!



Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting David

I find two things interesting

1. There no longer seems to be anyone specific to MyHR formally PCEHR
2. The ADHA seems to duplicate a number of offices of the Department

Is this a sign of the department distancing itself? And can we expect some streamlining of the ADHA?

As for Paul Madden is he not involved in the Cancer Screening Registry debacle currently unfolding?

Anonymous said...

There's only one Paul Madden on Linkedin in Canberra. Doesn't say much, apart from "Global Relations"

Looks like he might have joined a consulting organisation or Telstra. Whichever one it is, it will tell you a lot about them.

Anonymous said...

According to this official governemnt site, Paul Madden was shifted out of anything to do with Digital Health back in September 2017:


"Special Adviser" usually means they've got no idea what to do with the person, they don't have any skills that can be used anywhere else, let's hope they find a job somewhere outside. He's obviously read the writing on the wall and obliged. I wonder if Tim will read the same signs.

Anonymous said...

Tim is not the problem, Optout and the ADHA risk reside two layers down. Take the probably email posted over Christmas, connect the dots and you will find why the organisation is far from humming. Why we continue to tolerant bullying and incompetence is beyond me.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

The National Cancer Screening Taskforce is headed up by Bettina Konti, who used to work with Paul in the Digital Health area.

There's no such thing as Digital Health anymore. Caroline Edwards (Dep Sec - which is what Paul was) Health Systems Policy & Primary Care, now seems to only look after policy and a few High Priority Taskforces, which does not include the cancer screening register.

There is a section called Digital Innovation and AHNAC (Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council) but this seems to be purely administrative.

The Department of Health seems to be washing its hands of eHealth/Digital Health.

Any political issues will now fall to ADHA and the Health Minister. He can't wash his hands of MyHR, ADHA is part of his portfolio and the legislation essentially makes him accountable and responsible. He can't even blame COAG.

The most politically smart thing for them to do is to pause the opt-out move until the assessment of myhr in emergency departments is complete


in June 22018, along with the report on secondary use of MyHR data.

I'm sure there are some other things they can wait for - there must be some unanswered questions (if you don't understand the reference to Yes Minister, you should watch the series, it's considered a training course in government)

There are signs of a lack of resolve in government circles. Maybe they are wondering how to answer the question "why should the government have a copy of my health data?"

Maybe Tim can advise them - there's nobody else around who they can ask.

And in case you are not up to speed re the failure of care.data in the UK, read this:


"Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information, NHS England, was a witness at the hearing and admitted that NHS England had not thoroughly explained the benefits of the potential database."

Tell me again how much ADHA will be spending on explaining MyHR to the Australian public?

It's déjà vu all over again.

Dr Ian Colclough said...

But Bernard, is not the Secretary of the Health Department still the responsible system operator?

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

Under the ADHA legislation,

"The Health Minister may give directions to the Agency

(1) The Health Minister may give written directions to the Agency about the performance of its functions or the exercise of its powers."

It also says:

"20 Prerequisites and procedures for appointment of Board members

(2) One of the members must have the skills, experience or knowledge in the field mentioned in paragraph 19(3)(g) and must be an SES officer in the Department who is nominated in writing by the Secretary of the Department."

paragraph 19(3)(g) says ... skills, experience or knowledge ... "developing, implementing and managing national digital health policies, strategies and services"

It is difficult to see where such skills etc would come from, now that the Department doesn't do such things. It's also unlikely that the Departmental secretary would have such skills. But what the heck, it's only the law.

Under the My Health Records Act

"Identity of the System Operator

(1) The System Operator is:

(a) the Secretary of the Department; or

(b) if a body established by a law of the Commonwealth is prescribed by the regulations to be the System Operator—that body.

(2) Before regulations are made for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), the Minister must be satisfied that the Ministerial Council has been consulted in relation to the proposed regulations"

AFAIK, the role of system operator was passed to the ADHA by regulations made by the Health minister, as approved by COAG, but the Health minister is still responsible for the whole shebang as he is the owner of the portfolio.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere, hidden amongst thorny brambles some are probably beginning to realise that subscribing every citizen without the full support and buy in of GP’s, specialists, hospitals, Jurisdictions, peak bodies and colleges there is little profit to be gained attaching oneself to the MyHR. Those citizens who would embrace real-time digital fun for health records will most likely gravitate to the emerging app market rather than the MyHR. GP’s will through MediTracker, Health Engine, HotDoc etc become accessible by inderviduals and their apps with other participants in a patients journey taking up simple means to interface with whoever and whatever as a natural part of that care community.

tygrus said...

The Poll "Are You Expecting An Exodus Of Senior Federal E-Health Bureaucrats Over The Next Year Or Two?" is missing a possible response.

"What E-Health experts are left?", they didn't have many Senior Federal E-Health Bureaucrats to start with.

Anonymous said...

Question "What E-Health experts are left?"

Answer, the same number they started with. Zero.

Anonymous said...

We are seemingly loosing a lot of Government Policy veterans though. Like them or loathe them they were dam good public sector experts. The PS is becoming so lean it now spends excessive amounts on consultants to fill the gaps and we are losing the ability to grow new leaders in the public service.

Anonymous said...

More reason for the government to get out of the business of trying to be leaders in health care, never mind eHealth.