A recent report indicated that there are differences about the Gillard government's Personally Controlled E-Health Record Bills in the party after a Senate inquiry. On one side, the Labour is pressing for the bill to be given clearance, Coalition senators are pushing to postpone it till July 1, 2013.
There were some genuine issues raised by coalition MPs, thereby calling for some time so that the requisite changes can be made. It is believed that the proposed governance structures would not be able to deliver the required transparency and accountability, thereby raising questions whether the PCHER roll out would be able to achieve the success or not.
"Throughout the course of the committee's inquiry concerns, have been raised about the effectiveness of Nehta, the corporation responsible for the design and rollout of the PCEHR system”, said Community Affairs committee chair Claire Moore.
There is dire need to look into the feedback the bills have received so far, to work on that and deliver a more refined system. Moreover, the committee has acknowledged the concerns raised by the Medical Software Industry Association, concerning the safety of the proposed system. It was only after the MSIA pointed out the safety concerns attached with the proposed system that the issue caught the attention of the committee.
While there is an element of confusion prevalent among the stakeholders, there is need for a year to be given to work on the issues raised, specifically focusing on governance, patient risk, privacy and interoperability. It has become all the more imperative that the concerns expressed by experts in the e-health industry are being attended to and the desired corrective measures are being taken subsequently.
While the PCEHR Bills have been debated enough in the lower house, it would be worth seeing how they seam through in the senate.