Budget 2010: e-Health plan gets $466.7 million

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BUDGET 2010: Treasurer Wayne Swan has announced that he will put in $466.7 million to established a new electronics health record database, to be supplied over two years, along with a number of other health-related benefits that were part of Kevin Rudd’s health reform package, taking a huge chunk of the 2010/2011 budget.

Of the funding, $185.6 million of the funds will be given this year, with the $281.2 million left over will be given in the 2011/2012 budget.

According to the Government budget report, the new database will produce “nationally consistent patient health summaries from existing and compliant information sources”, including general health history, pathology, radiology summaries and prescription information.

The new e-Health service would be an opt-in service, meaning that people will have the option not to put their records on the new database.

If it is passed by Parliament, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner will get an additional $500,000 a year to its funding for supporting the regulatory framework – most likely to make sure that no privacy violations are committed when users’ most confidential data is being handled over the internet.

Also included in the Budget paper, the State and Territory governments will need to contribute to the cost of complementary investments to build the capacity to be ready for connection with the new database.

Image: provided by The Department of Health and Ageing (Public Domain)