This blog is totally independent, unpaid and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Quote Of The Year
Quotes Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"
H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Do You Reckon The Political Mess In Australia Is Providing License For Some Very Stupid Things To Happen?
After the last week or two it seems that if the Australian Polity is not broken it is in pretty bad shape.
Here are some comments from the weekend papers. (Skip past the politics if you know all this – it is relevant.)
But that is not a good reason to forget that, in the midst of the chaos, there was one particular dynamic at work, concerning the future of the national energy guarantee, that we need to think about a lot more, if politics is ever going to make sense at some time in the future.
Just three days later, on Friday August 17, the government was preparing to dump central features of the policy in the face of an insurgency that threatened the prime minister's leadership.
The insurgency wasn't really about the NEG of course. But the policy became victim of a threat to Turnbull's leadership from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (who had taken time off from helping au pairs in distress) that had its immediate origins in a meeting of Queensland MPs on Wednesday, August 15, which crystallised concerns about Turnbull's leadership that went back to the Longman byelection on July 28.
The grumblings were fanned into the appearance of a full-scale revolt. There were suggestions up to 10 MPs might cross the floor in the House of Representatives to vote against the NEG, a major defeat for the PM, his policy, and his grip on power.
When the policy was formally dumped the following Monday, August 20, Turnbull blamed Labor – rather than his own colleagues.
By the time of the 2013 federal election, the then Labor government had descended into such internal bitterness and backstabbing that it deserved to lose, irrespective of how worthy its political opponents were of high office.
As it turned out, the Coalition has proved itself unworthy for much the same reasons. An unpopular prime minister, Tony Abbott, was ousted less than two years into the job, while the transaction costs of such skulduggery were overlooked.
Less than three years later, Abbott’s reactionary mates botched a coup to remove their internal enemy, Malcolm Turnbull, delivering a compromise prime minister in the shape of Scott Morrison.
Compromised ministers now adorn the ranks of cabinet and the outer ministry. How anyone could believe any longer a single word Health Minister Greg Hunt utters in combating Labor attacks is beyond me. Put to one side his policy gymnastics in e-health and so on. Hunt stood up in parliament and expressed confidence in his prime minister immediately after voting to oust him, and immediately before doing so again. And he was scheming with Peter Dutton to run on a ticket as his deputy.
A conga line of other ministers behaved similarly, including Angus Taylor, promoted to cabinet anyway despite the sort of treachery that in any other employment situation would see you fired.
As such, irrespective of how worthy Bill Shorten is of high office, this government does not deserve to retain it. We must hope, though, that the next Labor government — even one led by the man who orchestrated the downfall of Kevin Rudd and then Julia Gillard — has learned from past mistakes.
Meanwhile, the attempts by Liberals who partook in last week’s regicide to justify the decision have involved a litany of false narratives. Turnbull was finished anyway, we are told, as though making the situation worse would somehow ameliorate the problems the government faced. Much less installing Dutton, who has long enjoyed single-digit support in the polls as a potential leader. The latest Newspoll had it at a whopping 6 per cent. Among Liberal voters — the base Dutton’s supporters told us he appealed to — it drops to 5 per cent.
Some moments during the Liberal Party leadership crisis were so brutal they are burnt into the memories of MPs, and make a mockery of claims the Morrison government can unite in time for the election.
By David Crowe
31 August 2018
The shock at the top of the Australian government is almost physical when Liberals recount the trauma of their leadership spill, a moment in political history when a frenzied campaign split their party and toppled Malcolm Turnbull.
A new Prime Minister now claims his team will “go forward together” after the bitter and bruising week, but Scott Morrison now leads a party that is riven by conflicts over what just happened. Every development is a matter of dispute. Few can agree on how their party gave in to what Turnbull called a “form of madness” – a phrase that will stick.
The shock could be heard in the Liberal party room in the moment when Turnbull lost the vote on Friday, August 24, to declare his position vacant.
The Liberal Party whip, Nola Marino, told MPs gathered in the party room that the motion to declare the leadership vacant had been carried. But how? A voice called out for the numbers. It was Victorian backbencher Russell Broadbent, insisting the room hear the count.
“I want the numbers, please,” said Broadbent. Marino turned him down several times but Broadbent insisted and had vocal support from the room to get his way.
It was 40 to 45. The Prime Minister had lost his job by less than a handful of votes and looked stricken. “This is a farce,” he said to those around him.
What was meant to be a tour de force for Peter Dutton, the challenger who thought he had the numbers, turned into a coup de farce instead that installed Morrison as leader and shoved Dutton to the side.
Some of the moments were so brutal they are burnt into the memories of all involved. Friendships have been fractured, hatreds inflamed and suspicions deepened among Liberals who are supposed to present a united face to Australian voters at an election due within nine months.
How the government recovers depends on how it deals with this history.
The point is, in the midst of all this strife and turmoil, is that we – as a populace – are making a decision about the shape and prospects of Digital Health for the next, no one knows, how long.
The myHR was conceived almost a decade ago – has cost a couple of billion dollars, and as far as anyone knows has delivered virtually no observable clinical or efficiency benefits.
We are now told that if we force essentially every-one to have a myHR we will move to a broad sunlit upland where enormous benefits will suddenly flow and all will be totally right with the Digital Health world. If you believe that I have a bridge I would like to sell you!
But it gets worse! We have a Health Minister who is responsible for all this who is totally distracted by political survival and has not shown even the slightest understanding of the possible personal, financial, privacy and security risks the opt-out approach may bring.
Worse – in the ADHA we have a collection of world class spinners, invading small distant towns and aboriginal settlements spruiking unmitigated wonder and benefit with zero balance in the story they are pushing. They should be providing balance but instead they offer propaganda.
The decision on opt-out should not be made by a discredited and uninterested Minister and a shambles of a divided Government, who if the polls are right will all be the Opposition Spokesman or worse real soon now, and they should not leave the incoming Government with an almighty mess the scale of which may sadly take a while to become apparent.
It is doubtful the myHR can be fixed but it is certain Minister Hunt et. al. and the ADHA spinners have no chance in hell of fixing it.