Qld and NZ to share health data

The governments of Queensland and New Zealand have signed an agreement to share health data, IT procurement, strategies, and planning.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall have signed an agreement for cooperation and shared planning between their respective healthcare systems.

Announced today in Wellington, the Arrangement for Collaboration on Strategic Health Initiatives will specifically see the governments share data and strategies in relation to IT procurement, assessment, and implementation; rural and indigenous health systems; telehealth; the promotion of healthcare and the distribution of information on prevention; services efficiency; and information on business, finance, and human resources in healthcare.

"Already, the Queensland health system, rebuilt by the Newman LNP government, shares key elements with the successful New Zealand health model," Newman said. "Like Queensland, New Zealand has devolved control of its local health services. Both health systems share a commitment to transparency and to regular public reporting of hospital performance outcomes.

"This new opportunity for shared access to data and real-life experience will provide an alternative perspective that will be invaluable."

The agreement will involve annual reporting to ministers from both governments, and will be implemented immediately.

"Under the former Labor government, Queenslanders saw firsthand the danger of failing to plan for our health needs," Newman said.

The state is still dealing with the fallout from the Queensland Health payroll system debacle, which resulted in thousands of staff members being underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all.

The Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland Health payroll system, announced by Newman in December 2012, began in February this year. It examined former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and her government, as well as contractor IBM.

It has been estimated that the bungled payroll system will cost taxpayers AU$1.2 billion in total, with the inquiry forecast to cost an additional AU$5 million.

Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced in May that an automated system will be used to dock the pay of those who were overpaid in the debacle.

Last month, the Queensland Budget gave almost AU$384.3 million to Queensland Health in order to remedy the payroll system.

Queensland Minister for IT Ian Walker stated earlier this month that the government's new IT-as-a-service strategy would address the payroll system failure, and prevent anything similar from occurring again.

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