Aussie healthcare shy of tech spend

The Australian healthcare industry has for a decade been loathe to get its wallet out when it comes to technology, analysts have revealed.

in brief The Australian healthcare industry has for a decade been loathe to get its wallet out when it comes to technology, analysts have revealed.

A new report from researchers IDC has found that spending forecasts in the IT sector will remain flat for the coming five years -- reaching AU$2.03 billion by 2011, a slight decrease on this year's projected figure of AU$2.06 billion.

The lion's share of this year's spending will be devoted to hardware, software and services, with AU$583 million devoted to communications bills.

The focus on hardware is set to decline in the healthcare sector with a greater proportion of spending set to be devoted to software, services and communications: hardware will take up 46 percent of technology healthcare budgets this year, falling to 39 percent within five years.

Not all areas of technology will be subject to static spending. The analysts believe that infrastructure upgrades will enjoy growth, as institutions seek to get cost savings and operational benefit by replacing ageing systems.

The report also predicts that healthcare institutions will turn to IT to improve productivity and reduce the number of medical errors in the coming years.