In a submission to the state's upcoming budget process recently published online (PDF), the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association has called for the new Coalition State Government to commit $328 million over four years to ICT initiatives in the state's health sector.
'Despite the promises of HealthSMART, Victoria still does not have ICT infrastructure that caters adequately for the needs of patients. The potential quality and safety benefits of IT are not being realised, costing time and money, and leading to poorer patient outcomes,' the AMA wrote in its submission, news of which was first published by Computerworld.
'Improved ICT will not solve all the problems in our health system, but these problems cannot be solved without improved ICT,' the AMA added.
The AMA wants the funding spend on an Apple iPad tablet for every doctor, which could display electronic drug charts, medication management systems and patient records, as well as funding specifically allocated to roll out medication management systems, build better interfaces between hospitals, general practitioners and aged care providers, and build wireless support in hospitals.
In addition, the group advised steady, recurrent funding could be spent on up to date computers for use by medical staff, remedying a lack of standardised software between hospital networks and providing for the replacement of 'sub-standard hardware and software systems'.