Few cross-jurisdictional government projects offer the massive returns or decade-long grinding frustration that eHealth has delivered to its stakeholders.
But with health costs ballooning, the Abbott government was never going to write off more than $1 billion in sunken costs and axe the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, despite the lack of conspicuous success to date.
In possibly the most grudging release of the entire Budget press pack, Health Minister Peter Dutton has forked out another funding round of $140.6 million for eHealth, but for one year only.
“Most clinicians are not using the system,” Mr Dutton’s release complained, adding that “Labor promised much with the PCEHR but delivered very little.”
Now the Coalition says it must make the health equivalent of electronic banking “functional and easy for all Australians to use” as well as “clinically relevant to health providers.”
“The current issues with the PECHR stem from Labor’s rushed implementation, and this government refuses to make that same mistake,” Mr Dutton’s statement said.
But who’s counting the years.
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