November 16, 2007

The P.E.I. Health Information System is out of control with a spiraling budget likely to exceed $150 million and no end in sight. With thousands of families needing a primary physician and ER in crisis, what is the government doing with scarce health dollars? It’s like a family facing bankruptcy but buying one of those fancy plasma TVs. Why not, they’re on sale.

The computer system is supposed to compensate for doctors’ bad handwriting according to press reports. I don’t think doctors’ handwriting is going to be cured by a computer, if that is even a problem.

Announced to cost $10 million, the current budget is $50 million with no end in site. Is this another Gun Control project? As a former software developer and computer executive, I can assure you from hard experience these projects are usually out of control and no amount of money will fix them.

Anyone with a shred of common sense does not buy the first of anything. The Province is the guinea pig for the software developer with taxi meter running overtime at tens of millions per year. The Province should have waited until dozens of these systems were up and running in other Canadian sites. Of course, all the experts will assure us the system will save billions. That’s poppycock and they know it but they’ll be banking their money in off-shore banks when we realize it.

If the new government had the smarts, they’d stop this train wreck in its tracks and blame it on the previous government who too the hook, line and sinker of this consultant’s dream.

Stephen Pate,
Charlottetown