There's nothing that Health Minister Greg Hunt likes more than a good slogan that he can put to good use, over and over again, and he's latched onto a new one and is making the most of it. In the last few years it has been all about the government's 'rock solid commitment to Medicare'. This year, it's about the government's response to the pandemic and how it 'brought forward a 10-year plan on telehealth within 10 days'.
That there was a 10-year plan on telehealth, or any plan at all for that matter, is news to us, but Greg has grabbed hold of this saying and he's not letting go. That said, 2020 has most definitely seen a coming of age for telehealth and the government is to be congratulated on finally coming to the party and funding it properly through the MBS. In the next few years, telehealth should become embedded in normal clinical workflow and patients and the heath system will be all the better for it.
We have been a little late to the party reporting on eHealth NSW and the state's Agency for Clinical Innovation's establishment of a virtual care accelerator to co-ordinate the deluge of new technologies and models of care arising from the coronavirus pandemic, but it appears to be going great guns. eHealth NSW has had a whole host of projects on the go this year, backed up by enormous amounts of cash that other health services can only dream of.
It has been a pretty big year for New Zealand's market leading practice management system vendor Medtech Global, which was bought by a private equity firm from long-time owner Vino Ramayah in June in a deal engineered by new CEO Geoff Sayer.
Dr Sayer quickly set about putting his mark on the company, which also has a small share of the Australian market with its Medtech32 and Medtech Evolution products. Medtech has been the stalwart in NZ general practice for two decades but has been challenged recently by Indici, the cloud-based system developed for healthcare home practices and recommended by a number of PHOs.