Govt creates new digital agency to fix e-health issues


news The government is seeking a CEO to head the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) – a newly created body set up to revamp the underachieving My Health Record initiative.

Advertising the leadership role online, the government said that the ADHA will become fully operational on July 1, 2016, and will assume management and governance responsibilities for many aspects of the digital health scheme, including strategy, design, development, delivery and operations.

As part of this process, the agency will take over the activities and resources of the National E-Health Transition Authority, along with the system operation activities of the My Health Record (currently managed by the Department of Health).

The government said the new agency CEO will report to a “skills-based board” that is “reflective of the health community”, and will initially focus on setting up the new agency and transitioning activities from the other bodies.

Going forward, the new head will be responsible for “the strategic leadership, engagement, collaboration, innovation and operations of the national digital health systems”.

Key tasks for the role will include leading strategic planning, stakeholder engagement  and quality of operations; implementing the National Digital Health Strategy; maximising the interoperability of the public and private e-health systems; and ensuring clinical safety in the delivery of the national digital health work program.

The advertisement states that ideal candidate will be:

  • A dynamic and innovative leader, with complex change leadership experience
  • Able to formulate national strategies with a focus on delivery of outcomes
  • An understanding of and ability to manage major IT programs
  • Exceptional stakeholder engagement skills
  • Able to effectively manage within the political, private and public sector environment
  • Independent and accountable in delivering the digital health outcomes.

The My Health Record project (previously called the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records project) was initially funded in the 2010 Federal Budget at a cost of $466.7 million. The project has been overseen by the Department of Health in coalition with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).

However, the project has reportedly suffered extensive problems, as well as poor uptake by medical facilities and the public.

As a result, on 4 November 2013, then-Health Minister Peter Dutton initiated a review of the e-health project, that concluded it would continue but be significantly revamped.In the 2015-16 Budget, the coalition government announced $485 million for the redevelopment of the My Health Record system to ‘strengthen and transform national digital health governance’.


  1. They should be mindful of the old axiom of health technology: “If doctors won’t use it, nothing else matters”

  2. The people have spoken numerous times on this, the government needs to stop wasting taxpayer money on the scheme and scrap it.

    We don’t want it, we don’t trust the government to keep it secure and private, and we don’t trust the government to give/sell the data to commercial interests (like insurance companies determining your insurance premiums) at some stage in the future.

    Much like the internet, once your data is “out there” you’ll never have control over it again!

    • do you have in-depth knowledge of the system, or speaking because you can? To me, your comments are made from an ignorant, knee-jerk point of view with no understanding of the safe-guards that are present in the system.
      You really don’t understand the powerful health outcomes that can be realised by semantically interoperable health data. Mistakes are more common than you probably know, and sharing health data is a key way to reduce these mistakes.
      You also need to analyse de-identified data (with proper ethical oversight) in order to work out where best to spend money on public health policy.
      Frankly, doing this eHealth stuff is a no-brainer.

  3. I’d never heard of this til I was flicking the tv this morning on ten and I totally agree with peter’s comment. So I want to know how do you opt out to stop it ???

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