QLD to splurge $200M on health systems

QLD to splurge $200M on health systems

$457.3 million also allocated over the next 15 years for integrated wireless network to support public safety and emergency staff

The Queensland government has earmarked $199.8 million for ICT equipment and software to improve the state’s health services in its 2014-15 Budget handed down today.

The government said $139.9 million will be spent this year to replace and upgrade information and communication technology equipment to support its e-health strategy and reform agenda.

A further $59.9 million will be invested in the continued roll out of e-health clinical and administrative support systems including integrated electronic medical records and systems for results reporting, order entry, medications management, clinical notes, and discharge summaries.

Queensland Health will outlay $81.1 million this financial year to continue the $327 million, four-year Backlog Maintenance Remediation Program to address high priority and critical operational maintenance, life cycle replacements and upgrades, according to budget papers.

The Queensland government is already spending $384 million over four years fixing the damage created by the Queensland Health payroll disaster. The total cost will be $1.25 billion over the next seven years.

Wireless network to cost $457.3M

Meanwhile, $457.3 million will be spent over the next 15 years on an integrated wireless network improve communications, safety and security for Queensland public safety agencies and emergency workers under the Government Wireless Network Implementation Program.

The Federal Government will provide $51 million over two years for the project.

Telstra will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the network under a managed service arrangement with the Queensland government, the budget papers said.

Queensland IT Minister Ian Walker said the wireless project would connect thousands of police, ambulance, fire and emergency officers to the one secure digital network for the first time.

“This is a vital update to improve emergency services for all Queenslanders, a project that had been put in the too hard basket by previous Governments,” Minister Walker said.

“This government promised to revitalise frontline services and the Government Wireless Network is a great example of achieving what we said we’d do. It allows emergency services officers to share information instantly and coordinate between multiple agencies.”

The Queensland government’s “one-stop shop” plan – which will see 200 services moved online by 2015 – will receive $7.4 million for phase one of the program, and recurrent funding of $2.9 million from 2014-2015 onwards.

Read more: Public-facing Wi-Fi deployments taking off

Other IT-related spending initiatives include:

  • $3.1 million over two years to make tactical improvements in cyber security capability and awareness within QLD government agencies
  • $400,000 for operational costs associated with the Open Data Portal and Queensland government publications website
  • $5.8 million to establish a ‘Police Hub’ on the Gold Coast and for operational equipment and IT support including police vehicles, specialist surveillance equipment and improved intelligence analytics as part of the government stance on criminal motorcycle gangs
  • $1.7 million for the Library Board of Queensland, some of which will be used to replace IT and micrographic equipment.

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