Significant investment in digital infrastructure to revolutionize its healthcare system is at the center of New South Wales’ budget, which was revealed this week.
The Australian state’s government presented their fiscal plan to the public on Tuesday with a promise of $536m investment over eight years in health IT infrastructure and support systems.
It broke down the investment into key performance areas:
- $286 million for the Whole of System Digital Platform, which will enhance the digital infrastructure supporting the clinical and other health-related systems across NSW
- $236 million for Digital Patient Records to extend the eMeds roll out and ensure patient records are easy to read, accurate and instantly accessible whenever needed
- $14 million for the HealthNet Pathology Results Repository, giving clinicians easier access to public hospital pathology results no matter where tests originally happened.
- Continue the Electronic Medications Management System ($29 million in 2017-18)
- Continue the Corporate Systems 2B ($6 million in 2017-18)
- Continue the ITT for NSW Ambulance ($4.5 million in 2017-18)
“eHealth is arguably the most important revolution in modern healthcare. These funds will deliver health information and services more effectively and efficiently,” said Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.
“The investment will provide value and safety to patients and practitioners, decrease costs by freeing up clinician time and improve the quality and portability of health care services.”
Finance Minister Victor Dominello added to InnovationAus: “We’re constantly talking about infrastructure in NSW [but] it’s not just about social infrastructure or heavy infrastructure like roads and rail.
“For me, the best infrastructure is the one that we don’t really talk about and that’s the data and digital infrastructure.
“That’s the infrastructure that’s really going to power our state and our nation in future. That’s our guarantee for success, I have no doubt about it.”
In total, NSW’s spending on health is expected to reach $7.7bn over the next four years, with four new hospitals promised and fifteen redevelopment projects.