• Wyatt Creech

A project which aims to boost the health of children through using the latest in information technology is a step closer after a cash injection of $135,000, Health Minister Wyatt Creech announced today.

"The Government is making the investment to go towards the development of software and assessment of privacy issues surrounding the pilot initiative kidZnet.

"Waikato and Rotorua health workers are driving the project, which aims to develop a central database containing health information on children.

"Information on immunisation and Well Child checks would be entered onto a database so health providers, whether they be GPs, midwives, iwi providers, or from Plunket, can be informed as to whether a child has been receiving the recommended care.

"A privacy impact assessment has been commissioned, but the idea is that only certain information from a child's record would be entered onto the database so their file does not leave the doctor's surgery. "

Parents' permission would be needed before a child's details could be entered onto kidZnet.

"Effective use of information is central to improving services for children and particularly for children missing out on healthcare. KidZnet would allow providers to coordinate better.

"If successful, kidZnet could be a model for the establishment of similar schemes elsewhere in New Zealand."