Page 2189 - Week 06 - Thursday, 26 June 2008

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view that this investment must be met with planning and investment into information management technologies to ‘network current health facilities to better share diagnostic images and medication records electronically and integrate these services better across the range of health facilities.’

It is interesting that I was approached last year by somebody about the fact that he had written to the Chief Minister about this very thing. I might bring it down tomorrow, because the response that this gentleman got for suggesting a really credible system-dynamic approach to managing the hospitals, managing our health system, was that, apparently, we are doing it already. I do not know whether the health minister knew that, but I should show you the letter because it is so Yes, Minister. It is a real shame, because e-health and the technology within our hospitals and our health system are really being put back.

If the Chief Minister had not been so arrogant; if he had perhaps shared with the health minister—I am sorry that you perhaps were not approached on this, because you might have listened—

Ms Gallagher: I have been approached; I get approached by people selling products all the time.

MRS BURKE: It is not about a particular product; it is about system dynamics. Do you know that? It has been used in business for 50 years. Do you know how far behind we are? We have wasted nearly seven years, and probably more, in not getting a system that would have perhaps helped to cut down waiting times. We could have then made better use of the investment, around $900 million over the last seven years as it has gone upwards—and more since self-government that we keep being told about. So you have wasted opportunities. Again, you are too arrogant to listen to people who perhaps know a bit better than you, or you allow officials to push these people to one side.

I go back to Mr McGowan. How much do we listen to consumers? Not a lot, it would seem, because he has been saying these things for a long time and we are just now hearing the health minister—only just now—saying, “Oh, we think we’re going to do that,” because it sounds good: e-health. The buzz words of the day are decanting, e-health: “We’re all with the program now.” But it is a dead pity because we have missed an opportunity; for the last seven years when we could have been incrementally implementing these things, working through them and keeping up with technology. As it happens, we are so far behind that these people now are going to have to start from the bottom and work up. We are getting behind. In terms of equipment, we are so far in advance, which is excellent. In terms of the technology that is used—

Government members interjecting—


MRS BURKE: What the new technology would do, which is what you people do not want, is provide absolute accountability. They do not want to be held accountable—but the doctors and nurses do—which is a real shame. The government could

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