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Govt wants to establish e-health system

Posted by tpi association on Saturday, 12 December, 2009


Every Australian should be assigned their own electronic health record number by the middle of next year, with the federal government releasing the draft legislation establishing the system.

Introducing personal e-health records will slash $627 million off the health budget every year, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says a national e-health system will allow health providers to share patient records and improve care.

“Mismatching of patient information has been an acknowledged problem in the health system,” she said in a statement on Thursday.

“These unique identifiers will provide a new level of confidence and accuracy when communicating patient information across and between private and government healthcare providers involved in providing care to patients.

“To date, there has been no single method of accurately and reliably identifying either the people receiving healthcare, the healthcare providers or the organisations managing care.”

People with a Medicare card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs treatment card will automatically be allocated an e-health number.

Others will be assigned an identifier “on an individual basis”.

Individual healthcare providers and provider organisations will also receive a number.

The e-health system will initially be operated by Medicare.

Ms Roxon says it’s a “trusted government authority” with the national infrastructure and industry links “to securely deliver and maintain the identifiers”.

The federal privacy commissioner will oversee the system.

“It is planned to have the healthcare identifiers from mid-2010 subject to legislation having been passed by the Australian parliament,” Ms Roxon said.

The public can comment on the draft laws establishing the system until January 7 next year.


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PM calls for national disability reforms

Posted by tpi association on Tuesday, 24 November, 2009

Stephen Lunn, Social affairs writer The Australian

THE Productivity Commission will consider whether Australia should bring in a no-fault, government-funded insurance system to cover the care and support for all people with a disability.

Kevin Rudd last night directed the commission to examine root-and-branch reform of disability services, including a feasibility study into a national disability insurance scheme.

Speaking at the National Disability Awards dinner in Canberra last night, the Prime Minister set a July 2011 time frame on the commission to report on an issue affecting millions of Australians.

“For far too long, people with disability in this country have had to battle for the right to live their life to its full potential,” Mr Rudd said.

“For far too long, people with disability have had to battle a service system that simply isn’t up to meeting their complex needs.

“How we care for people is a fundamental matter that goes to our values and our character as a nation.”

Mr Rudd said that, if implemented, a national long-term care and support scheme for people with disability “would be a historic social reform”.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare last week reported that, by 2030, almost 2.3 million people would be living with a severe disability (defined as needing help with at least one core activity of daily living: mobility, self -care and communication), piling pressure on already stretched services for the disabled.

Adding to the pressure is a decline in those able or willing to provide informal care. Older carers are dying or becoming too frail to look after their children, while younger people won’t have the economic capacity to give up jobs to care for incapacitated parents or disabled children. Economists put the cost of this decline in informal care at more than $30 billion a year in 20 years.

The current system, costing governments about $20bn a year, is welfare-based, with disability support pensions the main source of support for the disabled.

A national disability insurance scheme would instead underwrite the long-term care and support needs of those with a disability. It would focus on early intervention and lessen the reliance on welfare.

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Members Draw

Posted by tpi association on Tuesday, 24 November, 2009

Winners of this years Annual Draw


XXXX XXXX – Microwave Oven

XXXX XXXX – Fridge

Congratulations to all. TPI will be in touch shortly to arrange delivery of your items.

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Australian Navy Commander Honoured by King of Tonga

Posted by tpi association on Monday, 23 November, 2009

The Commanding Officer of the Royal Australian Navy’s heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk, Commander Peter Thompson, was honoured by the King of Tonga, George Tupou V, at a ceremony on 21 November 2009, at the Royal Villa in the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa.

Commander Thompson was presented with the Officer of The Royal Military Order of St George, in recognition of the humanitarian relief effort that the Australian Government, and in particular the Australian Defence Force, has provided in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Pacific Island region on 30 September this year.

King George Tupou V said it was, “Very much appreciated what the Australian Navy and Australian Government had done to help the communities of Tonga affected by the tsunami.”

Commander Thompson said, “This Operation has been a chance for the Australian Defence Force, in particular the Royal Australian Navy, to help our Pacific neighbours during a time of crisis and support the local agencies with their relief efforts.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive this award on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Government,” Commander Thompson said.

The Officer of the Royal Military Order of St George is the fourth-highest military honour that can be awarded by the King of Tonga.

HMAS Tobruk has provided support to the nations of Tonga and Samoa, carrying over 500 tonnes of humanitarian aid supplies, and assisting local groups and agencies such as the Red Cross in their work in affected communities.

The most recent delivery of humanitarian aid has brought the total assistance to Tonga and Samoa by the Australian Government, non-government organisations and the Australian community to $13 million.

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Remembrance Day

Posted by tpi association on Monday, 23 November, 2009

At 11am on 11 November, Australians across the country and overseas joined for one minute’s silence to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have defended our country in all wars, conflicts and peace keeping operations.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Alan Griffin said this year is especially significant because it marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. Minister Griffin attended a ceremony at the Cenotaph in Sydney and laid a wreath to mark Remembrance Day.

The Minister’s media release is available online.

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