NEHTA Board welcomes the Australian Digital Health Agency and pays tribute to its outgoing CEO Mr Peter Fleming

The Chair of the Board of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) Dr Steve Hambleton has welcomed the news that the disallowance period for the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) had passed and looks forward to the next stage, the transition to the Agency.

"It is with much enthusiasm that I report that digital health is alive and well with confirmation that The Agency has the support of the Parliament and will be fully operational by 1 July 2016," Dr Hambleton said.

This announcement comes just three weeks after the Turnbull Government announced its support for the establishment of 'Health Care Homes' in General Practices that will rely on the My Health Record and digital communication as an enabler to provide personalised comprehensive care and enhance health system integration.

Dr Hambleton paid tribute on behalf of the Board to NEHTA's outgoing CEO Mr Peter Fleming whose stewardship has helped NEHTA deliver on the objectives set for it on its formation 11 years ago.  Mr Fleming will pass on responsibility to a collaborative joint transition team for the final two months of the handover of NEHTA's operations to the Agency.

Mr Fleming, who has been NEHTA's CEO since 2008, said that he was proud to be at the helm of NEHTA as it had delivered the cornerstone eHealth foundations in accordance with its charter.

"This has made it possible to deliver the national My Health Record system to achieve the vision set by the Australian health ministers 15 years ago." Mr Fleming said.

He went on to say, "I am extremely proud of the many key employees and contractors to NEHTA that have been involved over the years, in designing and delivering the eHealth foundations that Australia now relies on. All of these dedicated people deserve to be proud of their achievements, which will provide health benefits to the current and future generations."

"NEHTA was tasked to 'develop the standards and provide and manage the development of infrastructure, software and systems required to support connectivity and interoperability of electronic health information systems across Australia' and it has achieved that," said Dr Hambleton.

This includes development and implementation of the key building blocks for a national eHealth system including standards and specifications; identity management; security and authentication; disease and medicines terminology; secure messaging; clinical safety assessment; conformance and compliance management; and procurement and supply chain solutions.

"These are the foundations of eHealth, and they are the envy of many of our international neighbours. There are very few countries in the world that have been able to transition to a uniform national 'eHealth rail gauge'." Dr Hambleton said.

NEHTA's work has also laid the foundations that will be progressed by the Agency to embrace the innovation agenda set by the Turnbull government.

"It is expected that there will be many more innovative ideas that will leverage those foundations and assist Australia to deliver better health outcomes and a much more engaged population," Dr Hambleton said.



For more information, contact Alison Sweeney, Manager, Media and Public Affairs on 02 8298 2669 / 0414 187 350 or [email protected]