Digital health infrastructure in NSW has received a bumper investment in the state's 2017 budget, with more than $500 million flowing to digital patient records and a system-wide digital platform.
In state budget papers handed down today, the government revealed the full cost of two major NSW Health projects that were first detailed in last year’s budget.
Just over $286.3 million across nine years will "enhance the digital infrastructure that supports clinical and other health-related systems across the state", $16.4 million of which has been allocated in 2017-18.
The government's plans for digital health were detailed under its refreshed ten-year e-health strategy released last year.
The initiative includes the consolidation of NSW Health data centres into the state's GovDC facilities, as well as the connection of all local health districts to the Health wide area network. This foundation is intnded to pave the way for mobile digital healthcare and video conferencing.
NSW Health was also today handed $236.2 million over seven years towards integrated digital patient records, including $18.7 million in 2017-18.
The government last year committed to completing the rollout of electronic medical records within the next four years. At the time e-health records were implemented 35 percent of facilities.
The drive will also see hospital electronic medical records linked with NSW Ambulance systems in real-time, while the electronic medication management system (eMeds) will be rolled out to more public hospitals.
Digital services drive
The NSW government continued its commitment to digital service delivery in this year’s budget, topping up Service NSW’s funding after doing the same last year.
The whole of government service delivery agency will receive $13 million over the next two years to invest in its underlying digital capability and bring more government transactions online.
A further $20 million will be spent by the Finance department to turn 24 former motor registries in regional areas into Service NSW centres.
“Service NSW has dramatically changed the way that people interact with government, offering a new customer first approach. People simply love the service provided, and now even more regional communities will benefit,” Finance minister Victor Dominello said in a statement.
“Gone are the days of excessive paperwork, copious phone numbers and duplication. Service NSW has transformed the customer experience by providing them with a 21st century one-stop shop service with access to over 970 transactions.”
Just under $8.5 million has been allocated across 2017-18 in preparation for the rollout of the digital driver's licence.
The Finance department will spend $3.4 billion over 2017-18 on frontline services as well as "driving innovation and digital services, boosting jobs creation, and improving the efficient use of public assets", the budget papers state.