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Feb 15

Dawn of a new Australian Dynasty

opera house 1 (1 of 1)

 

The “new” Australian Digital Health Agency is coming soon, will it be a new dawn for eHealth in Australia?  The Australian Government is committed to having it fully operational by 1 July 2016 and will be funded jointly by the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.  Once operational, the National E-Health Transition Authority Limited (NEHTA) which was established in July 2005 as a collaborative enterprise by the Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to identify and develop the necessary foundations for eHealth, will be disbanded.

 

3 key focus areas of the Agency

  • Responsible for overseeing national Digital health ecosystems and agenda.
  • Operating My Health Record (the renamed Personally Controlled Electronic Heath Record).
  • Being the new home for selected functions from NEHTA.

3 things that look different from NEHTA that has the potential to make a big difference

  • The Board of Directors looks like it will have a greater mix of participants and skills. Unlike the current board having mainly government representatives.
  • Establishing four advisory committees (Clinical & Technical; Jurisdictional; Consumer; and Privacy and Security).
  • The Agency may charge fees for things done in performing its functions.

The issues and problems of Australian Healthcare in 2016 are the same ones faced a decade ago. They still face a growing and ageing population, rise of chronic diseases and obesity, and while eHealth has certainly grown in the last decade (the good, bad and ugly), so has the cost of technology. Yet the overall health costs continue to rise at an alarming rate with quality and access to care inequalities continuing to grow across the population.

Early indications look like the Australian Government intends to build on their successes and lessons learned and not repeat past mistakes. I do hope in the next 10 years eHealth is achieving the rewards and advancement the country needs. Personally, I am really hoping this will be a success; we should be able to see the direction it is heading by the end of the year.

Full details on the Agency can be found on Establishing the Australian Digital Health Agency, Rule 2016

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