QLD senator slams PCEHR

The government's e-health system has been plagued with problems on the day of its launch, according to senator Sue Boyce

Queensland Senator Sue Boyce has slammed the Personally Controlled E‐Health Record (PCEHR) system, stating it is a "faulty" system and a waste of money due to problems with the hotline.

“The attempts by the Gillard government to launch a national e‐health system have become farcical. Having spent a billion dollars of tax payer’s money, the only thing they launched 1 July was a toll free phone number, but even that wasn’t working,” Boyce said in a statement.

Boyce claims the telephone hotline set up for the e-health system was tied up for most of the morning of its launch. Some consumers who were able to access the hotline later in the afternoon were put on hold for around 10 minutes and diverted to another line, with calls then being disconnected, she said.

“This is a truly shameful result given the time taken, money spent and all the now failed promises of this government,” Boyce said. “E‐health has a tremendous capacity to save the nation’s health budgets millions of dollars but under the inept management of this government it has simply become another way to waste our money.

“Even if there wasn’t a problem with their phone line, if you actually managed to register at the moment you wouldn’t be registering to a thing, because there is no operational system to register to,” Boyce said.

In May this year, federal health minister, Tanya Plibersek, admitted the take-up of electronic health records would be slow in the first few years of the system being rolled out.

“There needs to be an urgent examination of what has gone wrong inside the Government supervised by the Australian National Audit Office before any more of our money is wasted on empty promises, expensive functions and overseas trips,” Boyce said.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

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