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- Issue 81: April 2009
- Issue 80: March 2009
- Issue 79: February 2009
- Issue 78: December 2008
- Issue 77: November 2008
- Issue 76: October 2008
- Issue 75: September 2008
- Issue 74: August 2008
- Issue 73: July 2008
- Issue 72: June 2008

More Archives
We are in the process of moving all of our articles to the new site.

In the meantime you can find them on the old i2P site.

The Strategic Disarray in E-Health in Australia Goes from Bad to Worse!

Dr David More
From a Medical IT Perspective

Issue 81: April 2009
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Editor's Note: Dr David More is recognised as one of the health informatics industry experts and we are pleased to carry his column in i2P.
For this month we have selected his comments in regard to a report prepared after a NEHTA/DoHA briefing on National E-Health Strategy.
As he says, " I am vitally interested in making a difference to the quality and safety of Health Care in Australia through the use of information technology.
There is no choice.. it has to be made to work!

Last week the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) conducted a briefing on the National E-Health Strategy.

A very new and very reliable correspondent provided the following points from the presentations and discussion.

Overall Impression.

Not much positive to report.

Key Attendees

Megan Morris (DoHA), Rob Cameron (DoHA) and Peter Fleming (CEO, NEHTA) were present.

Some of the points they made were:

1. Although the strategy has been endorsed by AHMC, and there has been a commitment to continue the NEHTA work program, there is no funding commitment to the strategy at this stage.
Megan/Rob indicated they would not be addressing the strategy at this point in time as there are a number of key initiatives that are underway at present that need to be considered first (e.g. National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission work, National Primary Health Care Strategy, Regional Telecommunications Strategy)

This confirms what we already knew – we have been sold an unfunded pup.

More than that it is clear that the DoHA team are incapable of ‘walking and chewing gum’.
If they were they would realise that the e-Health Strategy is an integral component of this other work and needs to be considered as a whole.
Seems we have severe cognitive failure on the part of this lot.

2. In particular, nothing about the IEHR has been agreed to, i.e. the model of funding, development, implementation, ownership etc. Waiting on policy/funding decision from COAG.

This has to be ‘bureaucratic speak’ for ‘forget this for the foreseeable future’ (Subtext - blame the GFC).
It is clearly so far off that by the time anyone actually gets round to it, it will have to be re-considered from the ground up.
As regular readers will know I am more than happy with this outcome.
Let’s get the basics – secure messaging, e-prescribing, e-referral and core operational systems in place- and then work out what record sharing would be ideal.

3. There is no further information about the strategy to be released. The summary is all that will be made available.

This is just utterly pathetic.
We, the stakeholders and public, paid $1.3 million for this work.
Just exactly why should be not see what was suggested?
Even more amazing is that as recently as a presentation to the Telemedicine Summit on March 16 we have the NEHTA CEO suggesting the National E-Health Strategy is alive and well.
Three days later we are told zilch is happening and we can’t see it!
The story is getting very confusing here!

See here:


and for presentation see here:


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