Medicare Locals get $50m for e-health

Summary:The Federal Government will provide $50 million to Medicare Locals over the next two years, to support the adoption of e-health records from 1 July.

The Federal Government will provide $50 million to Medicare Locals over the next two years, to support the adoption of e-health records from 1 July.

Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek announced the funding on Friday, stating that it will be provided in addition to the $233.7 million set aside in the 2012 Budget for the launch of the personally controlled e-health records (PCEHR). Medicare Locals are networks that help to support frontline health providers.

The $50 million will go towards providing training in GP practices, and to other healthcare providers, Plibersek said in a statement.

"The practical training will include how to get the practice ready for the eHealth record, including how to achieve data quality, the registration process for eHealth records, engagement and support of the practice's patients," she said.

GPs have been concerned about receiving adequate compensation for the amount of time it will take them to create and manage the e-health records for patients, and, while the government will allow doctors to claim back e-health record management through Medicare, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) is still concerned that the cost of the initial creation of e-health records would not be covered.

Topics: Health

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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