South Australia switches on electronic prescriptions

South Australians will now have access to electronic prescriptions through the Morrison Government’s ongoing investment in digital health.

Since May, electronic prescriptions have been introduced across the country, with South Australia joining Victoria, the ACT and metropolitan Sydney.

So far, more than one million electronic prescriptions have been issued. This includes over 800,000 original electronic prescriptions and over 400,000 repeat tokens to patients.

Significant progress has been made to connect Australia’s healthcare system, so access to healthcare information and providers is available whenever and wherever it is needed.

The Morrison Government has committed $2.4 billion to provide all Australians with access to telehealth, with more than 30 million Medicare-eligible telehealth services delivered since March. The Government has also invested $5 million to fast track electronic prescribing, and provided $25 million to support home delivery of medicines.

The use of My Health Record by healthcare providers has also grown significantly, providing Australians with secure access to their health information.

Since March, the volume of documents uploaded by healthcare providers like hospitals, pathologists and radiologists increased by 40 per cent. Currently there are more than 275 million clinical and medicines documents in the system that were uploaded by healthcare providers.

The My Health Record system provided life-saving access to health information for Australians during the Queensland floods and last summer’s bushfires, and has been an important digital health tool during the pandemic.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said electronic prescribing was a “critical component” of the Government’s digital health approach to COVID-19.

“Along with the rollout of telehealth, this is a critical component of the Government’s utilisation of digital health infrastructure and services, which has been brought to the fore during the summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Hunt said.

“These initiatives are critical in delivering health services for all Australians now and into the future.”

Minister for Regional Health, Mark Coulton said e-prescribing had played a significant role assisting Australians living in regional, rural and remote areas, with their healthcare needs.

“Technology is helping to overcome the challenges of distance faced by communities in regional, rural and remote Australia when accessing healthcare and medication,” Minister Coulton said.

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