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    Trevor Kerr

    Agree with Vern, but it’s idealistic. In reality, it is not a level field for all players, as pointed out very well by Katie Lahey (BCA) in The Australian today. Consumers cannot make sensible decisions about their own health care because they are outside the loop of knowledge.
    Juanita Fernando from Privacy Foundation was making that point on the 7.30 report tonight, in relation to the development of a shared electronic health record.
    And, again in The Australian today, Karen Dearne is quoting NEHTA (Peter Fleming) to be moving toward a position of commercial providers holding individuals’ health information. Microsoft and Google come up in that discussion, but how interesting to reflect on Rupert Murdoch’s preferences. I mean, he is well known to dislike Apple (a leader in the supply of end-user gadgetry), and he is currently on the back of Google for the way it collects news and distributes it free of charge.
    Medicare Select is invalid unless it truly offers consumers a choice of competing plans, as Vern lays out. But that capability relies on true portability of health information. As a model for the future, if nothing else, it’s worth hanging on to because it forces thinking into what is required to have total freedom of choice whilst preserving the greatest possible privacy protections, with security locks that are easy to use and audit trails that are accessible to the public.

  2. 2

    Trevor Kerr

    The 7.30 Report brought up the 16-digit identifier, that Nicola Roxon explained was similar to, but better than, the Medicare number.
    Perhaps DoHA and Human Services can be brought before Estimates to map out where they think the IHIs will intersect with Chris Bowen’s identifiers for dispensing $100bn p.a. of payments.

  3. 3


    Isn’t this advocating a HMO model ala the United States? Will not that result in many people not receiving any coverage? Also there will only be choice on one side of the Great Dividing Range – cross it and you will have one option, take what’s on offer or leave it.


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