The Australian Government has released its proposal for a “Competitive and Sustainable Banking System”, consisting of a number of parallel streams, the first of which includes:-
“The Government will appoint former Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Bernie Fraser to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study to examine the technological options, the potential timeline and processes for implementing full account number portability.”
Building such account number portability must surely be technically fairly simple, so why such a high powered enquiry? Certainly it must be far, far simpler than building a comprehensive network of health information exchange capability and a PCEHR system for all Australians.
Yet according to recent media articles, such as WAtoday.com.au :-
“Labelling transferability ”the Holy Grail of bank reforms”, the independent senator Nick Xenophon said if it worked it could make changing banks as easy as changing power companies. He rejected claims by some banks that it could take a decade, saying it ”only took eight years to put a man on the moon”.
It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds, and if e-health policy makers can learn any lessons therefrom.