Rob Curry, acting executive officer for Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory in Australia said that Aboriginal communities could be provided better access to their records as well as other health information over the Internet if funds of $1 million are granted.
The funds are being applied for under the Broadband for Health initiative, which is a $60 million Federal Government program that rewards medical practices and health centres who adopt broadband.
"This makes a safer and easier way of getting health services," Mr Curry said. "Some of these centres still have paper-based systems." Broadband connectivity means that patients' records from any health centre can be centrally accessed.
Consultant Tom Cordingley said that in remote clinics, computers are usually smashed up meaning that the records also vanish. Having them placed centrally will allow for easy access, "If you are managing a remote facility like a clinic and the computer is stolen or smashed, you've lost everything. At the moment in the clinics you see a computer sitting on the floor - the security is woeful and this isn't just the clinic, it's the housing organizations and councils. They have no back-up."