E-record push will fail without incentives

GPs have warned the Federal Government its personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR) scheme could be undermined – and patients left out-of-pocket – if it refuses to pay GPs for creating and maintaining the new records system.

According to the draft blueprint released by Health Minister Nicola Roxon last week, the $467 million scheme will allow all patients to opt in to a PCEHR from July 2012.

A shared health summary containing relevant details of the patient’s medical history, such as allergies and medications, is to form a key part of the PCEHR, and patients will be able to nominate a healthcare provider to create and maintain this summary. 

Given one of the criteria for a nominated provider is that they must “deliver continuing, coordinated and comprehensive care” to the patient, it is widely expected that GPs will take on this role.

However, no ongoing funding for the PCEHR has been announced