Trouble plagued eHealth project gets $140 million to continue pending review


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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2 thoughts on “Trouble plagued eHealth project gets $140 million to continue pending review

  1. I am FOR an eHealth system … IF … it is publicly owned (not
    handed over to commercial or non-evident-profit others), has a clearly
    defined and noble purpose / mission, operates within an effective
    architecture of legislation and policy that ensures the highest degree of
    security & privacy and protection against all potential ‘conflicts of
    interest’, is defined by quality policies and processes (airtight
    framework), and is put to meaningful use through focussed research to
    improve the short and long term health outcomes of all Australians. IF
    the system was set up with a noble health research purpose / mission for the
    benefit of all Australians, they would understand its potential value to
    themselves, their families and others via comparative treatment
    effectiveness and other forms of research. People would willingly opt-in
    of their own free will and it would not be necessary to force Australians to
    opt-out of the PCEHR (My Health Record) system. Further, the present
    PCEHR system has not been developed and implemented in a way that
    streamlines the entry of clinical information for medical professionals,
    however; such a system could be developed and implemented that would negate
    the need for duplication, and this would minimize the admin burden for
    medical professionals and encourage greater adoption.


    Assuming all the above… So that the PCEHR system (My Health Record) can
    be put to meaningful research use, every individual should be given capacity
    to self-report their health outcomes in structured ways (symptoms, quality
    of life / pain scales, etc) within their own ehealth record. An ehealth
    record prescription list is not evidence a patient filled any of the
    prescriptions. Similarly, a filled prescription is not evidence that a
    patient took the medication. Only the patient can tell you what happened
    after they were given the prescription. At present, PCEHRs only provide
    capacity for patients to record non-structured diary notations. Clearly
    this is inadequate, and could even be dangerous IF, as an example; an
    unconscious emergency room patient were assumed to have taken all the
    medications on a prescription list.

  2. This program is as much of a white elephant as anyone else says, its a violation of privacy and a tool for discrimination.

    this rubbish should be scrapped.

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