AGPN calls for $13m e-health lifeline
DIVISIONS are appealing for a $13 million funding injection to secure the future success of e-health in general practice.
In its 2009-10 Budget submission, the AGPN said the funding was crucial to the implementation of the national e-health strategy and the rollout of current work programs in information management, secure messaging, data governance and quality assurance.
“We want to focus on building essential infrastructure and capacity for the divisions network to be able to deliver future health priorities for Australians,” said AGPN chair David Butt. “The government needs to understand that we must be funded to do that.”
A focal part of the strategy was 60 division-based e-health officers, who would work with individual practices to boost their e-health capacity.
E-health funding held by AGPN, which includes national and state-based e-health officers, ceases in June.
The AGPN has also proposed changes to the formula used to allocate funding to divisions, which would see division coffers boosted by an extra $6 million.
The formula – currently under government review – uses 13-year-old data, and the AGPN argues this fails to take account of changes in division population, particularly those in growth corridors. It wants the government to base allocations on population data in the 2006 census.
Concerns were also raised that the government review would result in a formula that would leave some divisions financially worse off. The AGPN is pushing for a “no losers” approach, and has asked the government to increase its investment in divisions to $88.5 million to ensure their ongoing financial security.