IT to be overhauled at Health Ministry

Document recommends new unit be created

A consultation document on restructuring at the Ministry of Health proposes creating a new group, Corporate Information Managment, which will be responsible for all ministry IT requirements. The functions will transfer from the new National Health Board once IT support arrangements are agreed. The document says there is a need for clearer focus on supporting IT needs at the ministry. A new Information Strategy group will support the National Health IT Board implementation of its national health IT plan. The document says there will be a fundamental change in how strategy and relationship resources support the board and engage with the health sector. Proposed new roles will be developed. Under the heading “Information Delivery and Operations” full-time-equivalent positions are estimated as: management office 25; solutions delivery 55; technology services 75; data management and clinical coding 52. The health network will transfer to technology services, which the document says will be largely unchanged, though with three new management roles. No decisions will be made about individual jobs at the ministry until a consultation process is complete and feedback considered. Deputy director-general Margie Apa says decisions are expected to be made around May 18. The proposal recommends a structure to reduce the number of full-time positions within the ministry to 1390 by the end of this financial year and 1290 by July 2011. The ministry currently has around 1420 full-time equivalent staff. The proposal would see a reduction of about 35 positions this financial year.

Apa says that while the proposal would change some roles and disestablish a number of positions, exact numbers will not be known until all ministry staff have had the opportunity to provide feedback and the structure is finalised around mid to late May. “It is inappropriate to make further comment at this point,” she says. The new structure is expected to be in place by July 1.

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