Telstra and the Australian Government to Build National Cancer Screening Register

Telstra Health has been selected by the Commonwealth Department of Health to deliver and operate the Australian National Cancer Screening Register, a ground-breaking initiative in the fight against cancer.

Cynthia Whelan, Group Executive International and New Businesses, said Telstra was delighted to be partnering with the Commonwealth to extend Australia’s world leadership in cervical and bowel cancer screening by encouraging more people to start and maintain regular tests and improving access to records.

“The Register will deliver a single database with one record per patient. People will be able to access their records online and with patient consent general practitioners and medical specialists will have access to patient data and records from any state or territory from their clinical desktops,” Ms Whelan said.

“This contract demonstrates Telstra’s growing capabilities to deliver transformational technology for the health sector, building on our existing successful partnerships with the Australian Government on National Telehealth Connection and National Emergency Response.

“It also demonstrates the Telstra Health strategy in action, creating a brand new solution to make healthcare easier by integrating capabilities from across our acquired businesses including Emerging, Dr Foster, Argus and HealthConnex as well as industry partners.”

The National Cancer Screening Register will manage cancer screening for more than 11 million Australians, integrating and extending the existing national bowel cancer register and the eight separate state and territory-based cervical cancer registers. Under the five year contract Telstra Health will link a number of Government agencies, such as My Health Record and Medicare, and private health providers.

“We want to make healthcare easier through the use of technology. Cancer screening saves lives but it can be hard for people to remember when their screens are due, meaning they often don’t start or keep up with regular screening,” Ms Whelan said.

“The Register will overcome the dislocation or duplication of information that can arise when people switch medical providers or move between states. This is when people are at risk of slipping between the gaps.

“We will deliver an end-to-end solution that integrates cancer screening records held by the Australian and State and Territory governments, by general practices, pathology providers and other private and public health providers. We will also provide a contact centre to assist medical practitioners and patients and a mail house to manage invitations for people to undertake screening.”

The Telstra Health National Cancer Screening Register team will work alongside stakeholders including all Australians, health providers, and the Australian, state and territory governments and registers.

“Each of these groups will be critical partners as we transition to the national Register. Health providers will help ensure the new systems will work for them and their patients, while the managers of the existing registers will bring considerable expertise and experience to the partnership,” Ms Whelan said.

The program will be overseen by health professionals and will be led within Telstra Health by Professor Ruth Salom. Professor Salom is a pathologist and health executive and was the inaugural Executive Director of the single State Pathology Service from 2008 to 2012 in South Australia.

Originally published on Telstra