Tony Abbott wanted an electronic health record when he was Health Minister but it took a Labor government to establish the architecture and actually deliver one.
When he was Health Minister, Mr Abbott said he’d establish e-health records. In 2003, he said:
"Failure to establish an electronic patient record within five years, I said, would be an indictment against everyone in the system, including the Government. I hope to be judged against that somewhat rashly declared standard; not because it is likely to be fully met but because it would mean that, come next year, I remain the Health Minister!”
And in 2005, he said:
“Without an integrated health record system, effective and efficient team care will be almost impossible. Queues will be longer and costs will be higher as health professionals under pressure keep asking the same questions and ordering the same tests.”
There are now well over 1 million people with an e-health record and over 50 million documents in the system.
Mr Dutton’s claim that the system has cost more than $1 billion is patently untrue.
$467 million was invested in the delivery of the system from 2010-2012.
The 2012-13 budget contained an additional $233.7 million to operate the system and as part of the Commonwealth’s share of joint funding with states and territories for the National E-Health Transition Authority work program.
If Mr Dutton is so confident in his proficiency as Health Minister he should announce how many doctors and patients he will have signed onto the system this time next year.