It has been a somewhat rocky road for Queensland Health and its eHealth ventures over the last few years and it seems little has changed, with a new face stepping up to front eHealth Queensland just as the state's Auditor-General reveals a bit of a blow-out in the budgets for a couple of high-profile eHealth roll-outs.
Just as Pulse+IT reports that the digital hospital version of the Cerner electronic medical record has cost a little more than expected at Brisbane's Metro South Hospital and Health Service's Princess Alexandra Hospital, we hear that Metro South's CEO and “digital hospital evangelist” Richard Ashby has secured the CEO/CIO gig at eHealth Queensland.
It didn't come as a huge surprise when NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced on Friday that she had decided now was the time to get out, with new Premier Gladys Berejiklian likely to reshuffle her cabinet and much of the gossip on Macquarie St centred on bringing fresh faces onto the front bench following the retirement of Mike Baird.
It wasn't a surprise but it was a shame, as Mrs Skinner has been a pretty good health minister all things considered. Her deep knowledge of the portfolio is legendary – she did spend 14 years as opposition health spokesperson before ascending to the leather throne in 2011 – and she is widely admired for her passion for healthcare and the healthcare system, both public and private.
Telstra Health was back in the news this week, with Telstra's group executive for new businesses Cynthia Whelan keen to talk to Pulse+IT about her strategy for the coming year. The former investment banker and Barclays ANZ CEO has taken a real interest in the new division, which when compared to the rest of Telstra is so small that it doesn't yet trouble the balance sheet but is of deep and abiding interest to our readers.
Ms Whelan is set to continue the strategy laid out by inaugural MD Shane Solomon, who while he is retiring from the company is still going to be involved in the roll-out of the National Cancer Screening Register. Despite the dramas of last year, it appears that Telstra Health is on track to deliver the NCSR, and Ms Whelan is keen to go for more large, complex projects of this kind.