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A health district in NSW has recently developed a process to undertake Health Technology Assessments at the local level. The process is designed to cover new procedures, programs, devices and equipment. The aim is to ensure that decisions regarding the introduction of new technologies and cessation of ineffective technologies are guided by evidence of effectiveness, safety and cost effectiveness, as well as provide an understanding of the organisational impacts of the technologies.
The Department of Human Services in Victoria (Australia) has established the Victorian Policy Advisory Committee on Clinical Practice and Technology (VPACT) to consider and make recommendations regarding the application of new and existing technologies and clinical practices in health services such as public hospitals. This includes identifying, prioritising, introducing, evaluating and ongoing monitoring of new and existing technologies and clinical practices.
One goal of the NSW Cancer Plan 2004-2006 is to ensure that clinical practice is driven by evidence from research. The Standard Cancer Treatment (CI-SCaT) protocols are delivered via a website which provides clinicians, patients and carers with information about chemotherapy cancer protocols, including evidence, cost, drug dose calculation, treatments and side effects.
The Australian Productivity Commission has recently released a report on Medical Technology in which it was critical of the lack of or deficiencies in the evaluation of HealthConnect, particularly with respect to the lack of evaluation of the costs and benefits of the proposed changes.
HealthConnect is a network of electronic health records which aims to improve the flow of information in the health sector. It involves the electronic collection, storage and exchange of consumer health information via a secure network with strict privacy safeguards.
The QHSDC is a government sponsored centre which aims to assist in the development of a safer, flexible and effective health workforce. An important goal is to provide a springboard for the fermentation of ideas to enable the production of innovative and research-based courses whose outcomes are properly evaluated. It encompasses mock operating theatres, laboratories and virtual reality skills areas and aims to be self funding through providing educational courses to health care professionals.
Since June 2003, the PBAC has published decisions not to recommend listing and deferrals. The objective of changing the policy is to open the decisions to greater public scrutiny.The policy change affects the pharmaceutical companies and (indirectly) any consulting groups or companies whom they employ, for example, to undertake economic modelling as part of a submission to the PBAC.It may also ultimately affect the PBAC as more companies may appeal decisions.
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing is currently exploring the possible development of a national policy for ?health call centres? (i.e. the provision of telephone-based health and health care advice and triage services).
Pilot program established in 3 sites in Australia - regional centre (Mackay, Qld), outer suburbs of a State capital (Melbourne) and inner suburbs of another State capital (Adelaide). The pilot targets people aged 55-74 years and is aimed to test the feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of a bowel cancer screening program.
The objective of this policy is to commission an independent review of the South Australian (SA) health system which will deliver a plan that provides effective strategies for health system reform and ensures that residents of SA have the best possible health, and have access to high standards of care.