Telstra gets AU$180 million to run national cancer register

The Big Titsup will manage healthcare records. What could possibly go wrong?

Australia's government might be in caretaker mode, but that's not stopping it from announcing a contract handing over management of cancer care records to Telstra.

The carrier will get as much as AU$180 million to take over record-keeping for a national cancer screening register, which will replace smaller not-for-profit registries that currently handle the job piecemeal.

Fairfax Media reports the register will cover people who record a positive result on various cancer screening tests (starting with bowel cancer and cervical). The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) will also replace state-based registers.

According to healthcare IT outlet Pulse IT, Telstra Health's Ruth Salom will lead the project. Salom's background includes four years leading SA Pathology.

Telstra subsidiary Emerging Systems will handle integration and medical record development. Other Telstra Health companies in the project include Argus (secure messaging), and Dr Foster, which Telstra acquired last year.

As well as managing the records, Telstra will also need to integrate the system into general practitioners' existing desktop software.

Fuji Xerox will subcontract the mailing systems, and multinational United Health Group (UHG) will provide contact centre services.

The national register is due to be in operation by May 1 2017, and Fairfax reckons Telstra has begun headhunting with approaches to staff of Cytology Victoria. ®


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