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Science and Technology – Health ICT Funding


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tags: Health

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you. Minister, page 99 of the budget paper No. 2, volume 1 shows an allocation of $150 million for the Digital Health Transformation Initiative, which I am sure you're across. Hidden in the footnotes, it outlines that, in fact, $40 million is expected to be found within the existing Health budget. So, this project which is a major ICT modernisation, is a 10-year project. As Science and Technology minister, do you think it's good enough to only partially fund critical ICT upgrades and drag them out over a decade?

Ms OGILVIE - These are major projects and I will note that that sits within the Health portfolio.

Ms O'CONNOR - But are you talking to the Health minister about it? I think it's the biggest bit of digital infrastructure that the state's commissioning.

Ms OGILVIE - It's a huge, important, foundational piece of work. Justin is broadly across it and I would like him to talk to you about the way these projects roll out and why it goes across time frames and how the funding models are structured.

Mr THURLEY - This is a very clever piece of work that's been done in Health in terms of the long-term strategy for digital in health. The amount of money that's expected to be expended is much larger than the initial $150 million. It's closer to $400 million over 10 years. I think that is spelt out in the budget papers. I can't recall. It is part of a well-crafted strategy and there is documentation and a business case to do it in the way they are doing it. It is about crafting what is feasible and viable, as much as it is about what the desirability is in terms of getting good outcomes in health.

Ms O'CONNOR - Are there local job opportunities out of that work, or are we purchasing the services?

Mr THURLEY - Absolutely, there will be changes and the dynamics of that will be really interesting for the local industry, I suspect, without going into exactly what it's going to do for the health people. It should be very good for the local industry.