After a process of consultation, research and tendering, the plans for distribution of the €490m in healthcare Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will soon be formally announced.
As part of the National Development Plan (NDP) for 2007 to 2013, the issue of e-health has been tagged as a “crucial enabling factor for achieving high performance” in the healthcare sector.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Children told online journal E-Health Europe yesterday that the funding of €70m per annum will go towards fulfilling the objectives set out in the 2004 National Health Information Strategy.
They went on to explain that ICT will be implemented in key areas such as patient-centred systems in hospitals and also community settings.
The ICT funding should also help healthcare professionals by using technology to bring information such as x-rays outside the perimeter of the hospital to other points of care via electronic records.
From the patient point of view, the NDP hopes to provide “optimised care while greatly enhancing and protecting confidentiality” through ICT.
In addition to helping medical staff and patients, the spokesperson said that the ICT funding would also be used for management and planning, to help staff make better use of their time and increase efficiency in these areas.
By Marie Boran