Skip to main content

Digital trial enables speedy enrolment of newborns into Medicare

Medicare pilot visit
New parents Ann-Marie and Robert Klasen and their baby Bruno meet the Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo, Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge and Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor at Gold Coast University

Gold Coast University Hospital has successfully rolled out a digital trial to make life easier for parents by enabling automatic enrolment of their newborn into Medicare, the Medicare Safety Net and the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.

Since April, the parents of 786 babies have participated in the pilot program between the Federal Government and the Department of Health.

The new system received the tick of approval from parents, with 97 per cent of participants saying it was convenient.

Gold Coast Health Acting Service Director of Women’s Newborn Children’s Services Hazel Brittain said staff members were enthusiastic about participating in the trial because it allowed them to deliver a better outcome for their patients.

Ms Brittain said staff had played an important role in implementing the new program.

“Their input has been vital to adapt and embed information technology changes in the hospital’s maternity services,” she said.

Parents opt in to the program, which will continue to be offered at Gold Coast University Hospital, by agreeing to allow existing hospital data to be sent to the Department of Human Services.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge, who met with families and staff at GCUH on Monday, said the pilot was an Australian first and involved linking basic data between the Queensland Department of Health and the federal Medicare system to enrol children in a more streamlined way.

“Usually new parents are required to complete a six-page Medicare enrolment form or a Newborn Child Declaration, to be signed by their doctor of midwife, and then lodged at a Centrelink or Medicare office.

“Not only has the trial made it more convenient for parents, it has seen the average time to enrol a baby drop from 35 days to six. It has also cut government processing time in half.”

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said: “Fundamentally, it is about helping people complete their business with Government as efficiently as possible, and this trial is an excellent example of that.”

Last updated 20 Dec 2016