E-health helped by new money
Last week’s budget papers included some significant money for projects at the intersection of health and technology.
The new funding includes just over $374 million over two years to give every Australian an electronic health record.
This will be achieved through a shift from an opt-in to opt-out approach for the My Health Record scheme, which was a recommendation of the 2015 Royle Review.
The Government has been looking for ways to life the low adoption rates of the former personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) scheme since 2012.
The 2017-18 budget documents confirmed strong speculation that a full-scale rollout of opt-out records is underway, with legislation enabling the change soon to be introduced into parliament.
“This follows unanimous support at COAG [in late March] for a national rollout of My Health Record with every Australian to receive a record, or opt out if they choose to do so,” budget documents state.
The papers include $67.3 million for the overhaul of the Medicare payments system, to “modernise the health and aged care payments system and ensure that the government continues to own and operate the ICT systems that deliver Medicare, the PBS, aged care and related payments into the future”.
There is also $9 million for new teleconferencing technologies to spread Medicare psychology services to rural and remote areas.