news New South Wales’ peak electronic health agency NSW eHealth has yet again advertised for a new chief information and chief executive officer, as the latest swing in a revolving door of senior executives.
The NSW Government created eHealth NSW in August 2011, amid a much wider shake-up of the health sector in general driven by its new Coalition Government. eHealth NSW was supposed to show “the way of the future” in healthcare by deploying next-generation electronic health systems across the state.
However, the agency has not met with unmitigated success, with the deployment of eHealth systems across NSW still suffering delays and setbacks, as in most other jurisdictions in Australia and globally. In addition, the agency has at times suffered from regular turnover at its top levels.
In January 2014, for example, NSW Health advertised two high-profile chief information officer roles, including a chief executive/CIO role at eHealth NSW, who would also serve as CIO of NSW Health.
It appears that experienced consultant and public servant Michael Walsh was appointed to that role in April 2014. However, Walsh appeared to hold the role for a little over a year, before moving back to Queensland to take up the reins of Queensland Health as its departmental secretary.
Since that time, according to Intermedium, NSW eHealth’s acting chief has been Zoran Bolevich, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as being a long-time executive at NSW Health.
The successful candidate for the role will have much the same responsibilities as the previous executives to hold the position — overseeing governance structures, defining ICT enterprise strategy and ensuring service delivery in the health area, and overseeing a statewide approach to the issue of eHealth.
Walsh has also been appointed to a board to help oversee the Federal Government’s troubled electronic health records initiative. The project has been reported to have suffered extensive problems and has suffered from poor uptake by medical facilities and the public.
The PCEHR project was initially funded in the 2010 Federal Budget to the tune of $466.7 million after years of health industry and technology experts calling for development and national leadership in e-health and health identifier technology to better tie together patients’ records and achieve clinical outcomes.
In the 2015-16 Budget, the Coalition Government announced $485 million for the redevelopment of the now My Health Record system to ‘strengthen and transform national digital health governance’ through an Australian Commission for eHealth.