The New Zealand Ministry of Health has recently unveiled its plan to invest up to A $ 400 million ($ 289.4 million) to implement data from the healthcare and digital infrastructure sector over the next four years.
This includes $ 385 million ($ 279 million) to implement Hira, the new national health information platform. Another A $ 15 million (US $ 10.8 million) was allocated for capital funding in 2025-2026.
WHAT’S HE DOING
According to the Ministry of Health’s website, Hira will provide a “whole new way” to access and update people’s health information.
Hira is expected to be deployed across multiple consumer and vendor channels, such as websites and apps.
In the first phase of the launch of Hira, the system will provide access to both providers and consumers with important health information, such as demographics, registered general practices, community service card rights, prescription and dispensed drugs, status COVID-19 vaccination and laboratory testing. results. Consumers will also be able to update their information, such as contact details, through the system.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Ministry of Health said changes need to be made to the national health information platform as many sources of health and disability information were not combined and there were variations in the quality of the data and the way they collected and stored the data.
It was also noted that data was not always accessible and that citizens had difficulty accessing or controlling their own health information or sharing it with their families.
“Change and adoption are an important focus of the program and we will also consider what options exist for people who do not have access or prefer not to use the technology,” he said.
Hira’s introduction will make health information “more accessible and interoperable and lead to better quality data to improve vision and decision making.”
“Consumers will have better access to their health information and can control who they share it with. Providers will have secure and easy access to patient information, in the right context and time,” the Ministry of Health said.
THE GREATER CONTEXT
Last week, the Ministry of Health announced the budget allocation of A $ 24 billion (US $ 17.36 billion) for the healthcare sector next year. Additional IT-focused health budget items include an investment of up to US $ 55.6 million ($ 40.1 million) to upgrade the country’s breast cancer screening program computer system and $ 53 million of US dollars ($ 38.2 million) for the screening of HPV and its corresponding computer system. In addition, the Ministry of Health will invest 116.6 million US dollars ($ 84.4 million) by 2025 to transform its system of agreements and payments in the health sector.