ANALYSE - In Australië werkt het Elektronisch Patiëntendossier (EPD) door een gebrek aan visie, expertise en geld. Dat is een zegen voor het systeem, beargumenteert econoom Paul Frijters. Vandaag deel 1, morgen volgt deel 2.
For fourteen months, Australia has had an electronic national health register. It has almost nothing in it, but the hope is that in years to come (when lots of people have registered) it will start to have all the information on someone’s health that floats around in the health industry. This includes discharge summaries, the history of medicine use, databases on allergies and conditions, payment histories, dental records, childhood illnesses, vaccination history, and treatment plans.
This health register was initially championed by Tony Abbott when his party was last in power and he was the health minister, so now that he is the Prime Minister, its future looks safe for the next few years at least. Let me, as an interested but only average-informed health watcher, talk through the possibilities of this health register, the failures to have health registers in many countries, and the wondrous ways in which the Australian variety seems to have benefited and thrived from a lack of foresight, a lack of consultation, a lack of expertise, and a lack of money. It is somewhat unusual and incredible from the point of view of normal economic thinking about reform, but we seem to have a policy area here in which it seems an advantage to bumble along in the dark, rather than be well-prepared beforehand.