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Oz docs prescribed iPads by Premier

Vote me back in, and I'll hand 'em out, says state chief

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Australian state Victoria is to hand out iPads to all the doctors it employs in its hospital - if the state's Premier is re-elected on 27 November.

A desperate bid by incumbent Premier John Brumby to tempt medicos with shiny new toys?

Not so, says Brumby. Giving doctors an iPad each will cost Au$12m (£7.6m), his Labor Party administration reckons, but Brumby insisted the move, part of plan to provide doctors with up-to-date patient and treatment data at the bedside, will lead to better, more effective public health care.

Nationally, the Labor government has pledged to spend the best part of Au$500m (£315m) on e-health tech. If Brumby is re-elected and makes good his own promise, his administration, which has voiced its support for the national policy, will undoubtedly be looking to it to fund the provision of iPads to the 200,000-odd doctors in the state.

Brumby's state goverment has already said it will give local hospitals some 500 iPads, local site iTWire reports, at an estimated cost of Au$500,000 (£314,563). These iPads will come as part of a e-health trial due to commence early next year.

“The iPads will allow doctors and nurses to access any web-enabled application run by their hospital as they move around the hospital, as well as allowing them to tap into health information resources,” said Victoria Health Minister Daniel Andrews in July, when the trial was announced.

Andrews stated that the Wi-Fi networks to which the iPads will connect will not affect "other important and sensitive electronic patient care equipment". ®

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