ipads 300x250 Australian state government promises iPads for doctorsAs the Victorian state election heats up, the current Premier revealed yesterday plans to provide Apple iPads to all doctors working in Australia’s public health system.

Although this is a minor point in the Labor party’s plan for improving the health care system, it shows a concerted effort to embrace new technologies and put them to good use. Premier Brumby said the Labor party is committed to giving doctors the tools they need to provide the best health care.

“As technology evolves, so do the tools that our doctors need. We will provide $12 million to buy iPads for every doctor working in Victoria’s public hospital system, so they have easy access to time-critical clinical information at a patient’s bedside”

The opposition did not make such a specific promise of new technologies, but did include plans in Sunday’s media release to adopt “appropriate mobile technology”. The Coalition also promised to spend $4 million on a hospital performance website where the public can access performance data for metropolitan hospitals. The introduction of assigned numbers for patients to ensure the correct records are being used for administering health care was also supported by the Coalition in the media release.

“The Coalition supports the introduction of a national E-health identifier and its incorporation into the Victorian health system, with appropriate protections and ironclad privacy controls”

Premier Brumby has previously shown enthusiasm for Apple iPad, ordering 500 for Victorian hospitals to be sent out in January 2011, and buying over 500 for Victorian schools earlier this year. The Victorian government has also created a Government 2.0 action plan and set up an interactive eGovernment website to allow participation and interaction with Victorian residents.

Could this be a step in the right direction for the Victorian state government, as both parties jump at new technologies, or is it just a ploy to get younger generations on board?