At the recent COAG meeting, ministers agreed to a package including $64.4b in Federal funding over five years for state health systems. In addition, COAG allocated $218m to fund National E-Health Transition Authority until June 2012, "a strong endorsement of e-health as an essential element of health reform" according to NEHTA CEO Peter Fleming.
However, the funding of NEHTA was the only allocation for e-health.
The Garling report into NSW hospitals released last week, delivered a scathing criticism of NSW Health’s lack of IT spending. Garling recommended NSW Health complete the current IT program (including critical infrastructure, electronic patient records, and a statewide e-health record system) within four years instead of the 8-15 year currently allocated.
CHIK joined the debate, recently releasing a discussion paper with its vision for e-health enabled healthcare in Australia. A Pebble in the Pond: A Vision for E-Health Enabled Healthcare Transformation calls for a whole-of-government approach to health reform and presents a vision for e-health enabled healthcare transformation and identifies key elements that make up that vision, as well as elements that need to be in place to enable the vision to be realised.
In a further update from CHIK:
On 5 December, Australia's Health Ministers endorsed the National E-Health Strategy commissioned by the National E-Health Information Principal Committee (NEHIPC) and developed by Deloitte.
Also on 5 December, National Health & Hospitals Reform Commission posted a new report E-Health: Enabler for Australia's Health Reform discusses the place of E-Health in the Australian healthcare system, the need for IT in the reform agenda, and the case for change.