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National e-Health Strategy

A national e-health strategy document was produced, endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) and published in 2008

In 2011 the AHMAC established an e-health Working Group (EHWG) to assist in development of the National eHealth Strategy and Business Case. Deloitte was involved in consultations with a number of organisations and this new e-health strategy and business case became colloquially known as the national e-health strategy refresh. The E-Health Working Group (EHWG) was a time-limited group to facilitate collaboration between the Commonwealth, States and Territories regarding key eHealth activities which expired on 30 June 2014. AHMAC agreed to extend the operations of this group until June 2015 to enable further progression of the National eHealth Strategy and Business Case.

Development on the national e-health strategy and business case has been slow, by any standards. The COAG Committee structure was ‘streamlined’ in December 2013 with a set of 8 councils, including the COAG Health Council with these terms of reference. The COAG Health Council prioritised the new National eHealth Strategy and Business Case to be finalised within 18 months. With a change of Commonwealth Government, and the PCEHR Review in late 2013, there was further hiatus in the development of the Strategy and Business Case.

At it’s meeting on 8th April 2016, Health Ministers signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on Digital Health which establishes the ongoing financial support and governance arrangements for the Australian Digital Health Agency. The IGA was developed jointly by the Commonwealth, states and territories through the intergovernmental E-Health Working Group.

The Australian Digital Health Agency will be responsible for the strategic management and governance responsibilities for the national digital health strategy and the design and operations of the national digital health systems, including the My Health Record.”

Further reading:
Scott, R.E. and Mars, M. Principles and Frameworks for eHealth Strategy Development, Journal of Medical and Internet Research, July 2013
World Health Organisation. National eHealth Strategy Toolkit, July 2012.

Australian Digital Health Agency
National e-health infrastructure
Digital Health Standards