Health services in NSW have been in limbo pending the outcome of the election, but the landslide victory by the Barry O’Farrell-led Coalition is likely to precipitate a frenzy of activity as the new government looks to implement its e-health policies.
Jillian Skinner will take on the role of Health Minister within the new government. During the election campaign, the NSW Coalition’s policies focussed on health issue prevention, openness, better management of chronic disease and increased community involvement in the running of the NSW public health system.
Now, the industry is beginning to call on the government to make good on its promises.
The world’s largest health systems integrator, CSC, was quick to issue a statement welcoming the election result — and remind the new government of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and Federal Government’s plans for personally-controlled electronic health records.
“Policy announcements prior to the election from the Shadow Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, are very promising for the health sector and for e-health in Australia,” CSC national director for health services, Lisa Pettigrew, said.
“We look forward to helping the new NSW Government review and optimise technology and e-health investments to deliver better outcomes for patients and clinicians across NSW.”
Pettigrew also highlighted the Coalition’s promise to establish a Telehealth Technology Centre at Nepean Hospital. The centre, which will be overseen by Professor Mohamed Khadra, will develop and pilot clinician-sponsored models of care using telemedicine technology to reduce the barriers of distance for providing health care in NSW. Under the scheme, the government will provide $2 million over four years.
“All the Coalition’s planned policies can only succeed if underpinned by quality information management technology systems providing the information and data for local clinicians and community leaders to make the right decisions with the right data to provide better and safer patient care,” Pettigrew said.
“NSW has a great chance to get the health system right – we welcome Jillian Skinner’s appointment as Health Minister – this is the first time in over a decade NSW will have a Health Minister who won’t have to be learning on the job,” Pettigrew added.
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