$36.8 million PCEHR package in Tasmanian health bailout

The federal government has allocated $36.8 million over four years to roll out the PCEHR in Tasmania’s hospitals as part of its $325 million “emergency rescue package” for Tasmania’s health system.

The bailout is part of protracted negotiations with independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie over his support for the minority government.

In a statement, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the $36.8 million for the PCEHR implementation would enable allied health, pathology and diagnostic imaging services to connect to eHealth. Ms Plibersek said frontline health professionals had emphasised how electronic health records would reduce errors and duplication and improve the efficiency of their work.

“During my recent trips to Tasmania, frontline clinicians have told me the state’s health system was struggling and urgent action was required to get it back on track,” Ms Plibersek said.

“In consultation with my Tasmanian parliamentary Labor colleagues and the Member for Denison, Mr Andrew Wilkie, the government has come up with an emergency rescue package we believe will address the unique challenges faced by the state.”

The package also includes:

  • $31.2 million over four years for an elective surgery blitz
  • $22 million to establish walk-in clinics in Hobart and Launceston
  • $48.7 million over four years to support better care in the community to prevent and manage chronic disease through the Tasmanian Medicare Local
  • $74.5 million over four years to provide better care for patients when they are discharged from hospital and better palliative care in the community
  • $53.9 million over four years to train more medical specialists in Tasmania and provide more scholarships for nurses and allied health professionals
  • $15.4 million over four years to address gaps in mental health services
  • $42 million over four years to support innovation in clinical services that would enable care to be delivered more effectively and efficiently. This will include $1 million in seed funding to establish a Virtual Health Sciences Precinct, bringing together Tasmanian hospitals, the University of Tasmania Faculty of Health Science, the Menzies Research Institute, the Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust, and appropriate primary care providers.

“These investments respond to the ideas that frontline clinicians have told me will be the best ways to tend to Tasmania’s health system,” Ms Plibersek said.

More information on the specifics of the eHealth package have been requested.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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