Vision for Australia's Health

Pillar 5: A Health System for the Future

Embracing new technology and innovation, consolidating the gains from COVID-19 reforms, and building upon them to facilitate better access for all patients and greater understanding and engagement between patients and practitioners. It will also require better use of data and technology to aid diagnosis, clinical audit and patient engagement, and to provide solutions to deliver care in circumstances currently not possible. Key to consideration of a future health system is the opportunities offered by new innovative models of care, integrated care at a lower cost and value-based healthcare – that is, sustainable system redesign.


5.1 Adapt private medical practice to incorporate telehealth and e-prescribing in “business as usual” without detracting from face-to-face medicine.

  • Telehealth Medicare items that fairly compensate doctors for patient and non-patient contact time, while ensuring appropriate oversight and governance to ensure continuous evaluation and evidence-based quality of care.
  • Doctors are more accessible to patients while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission – with access to non-GP specialists particularly important for rural and regional patients.
  • Options for telehealth between a GP and a carer or nursing home nurse on behalf of patient, where patients are non-communicative.
  • Ensure appropriate tools are available to assist practitioners in adoption of telehealth and e-prescribing, designed in a way that improves workflow.
  • Remote monitoring technology will facilitate equitable healthcare, in particular for private medical practices in rural and remote areas.
  • Number of telehealth Medicare items for GP and non-GP specialists.
  • Number of patients choosing telehealth as an option for care.
  • Conversion to 50 per cent e-prescriptions by end of 2022.
  • Government funding for innovations in rural health and technological infrastructure.

5.2 Patients empowered to track their health data and access follow-up care.

  • Secure, private health information access for doctors and their patients.
  • Seamless access to medicines through e-prescribing.
  • Widespread use and adoption of the My Health Record, with a specific focus on supporting non-GP specialists.
  • Increased uptake of the My Health Record by specialists.
  • Increased patient satisfaction in practice-based questionnaires.
  • Expanded upload into My Health Record.

5.3 Implement ehealth solutions to deliver doctors and patients health information seamlessly across different parts of the health system.

  • Each person involved in care has current information about the patient that they need for the best possible quality care.
  • Development of a standard of interoperability across the health system.
  • Patients are supported with education for, and access to, digital health and assistive technologies to receive high-quality care at home and maintain independence.
  • Decision-making and health literacy are improved.
  • A national focussed attempt to improve digital maturity through workforce training initiatives, eliminating fax use, promoting secure messaging uptake, etc. via directed improvement payments or grants.
  • Communication and coordination improved.
  • Improved access by hospitals to GP notes.
  • Increase in patients receiving high-quality, appropriate care at home instead of in acute care settings.
  • Health literacy indicators improved.
  • Measurable improvement in use of secure messaging and reduction in use of fax.

5.4 Liaison with colleges and universities to incorporate management and leadership training as well as ehealth training as a routine part of their education requirements for students and registrars.

  • Incorporation of leadership and ehealth units of study with assessment in training programs.
  • Expanded capacity for remote learning (training and educational opportunities, especially for trainees in regional/rural sites, and potential remote supervision).
  • Australian Medical Council accreditation guidelines adjusted to reflect this need, with 100 per cent conversion within 3 years.