UAE to boost e-Government plan
The UAE Government is planning to accelerate the implementation of the e-Government by making 50 percent of Government services online by the end of the year 2008 and 90 percent by the year 2020. The Ministry of Economics has already surpassed the 50 per cent target and launched a new portal, in which Ministry is introducing 80 services out of a total of 130 services. Currently, UAE has one of the highest broadband user penetration rates in the Middle East at the rate of 31.5 per cent, and more than half the population has access to the Internet.
The Government has designed the portal in collaboration with the Microsoft Corp. The portal aims to facilitate collaboration with businesses in the country. According to the United Nations’ latest figures, the UAE currently ranks 32nd in terms of e-Government readiness worldwide, a rate higher than countries like Russia, China, and Brazil.
European Commission plans to accelerate e-Health market
The European Commission has published a new strategy entitled ‘Accelerating the Development of the e-Health Market in Europe’ to enhance the growth of the e-Health market in Europe by removing legal and regulatory barriers and promoting interoperability over the next two years. The new paper is part of the Commission’s new ‘Lead Market Initiative’ (LMI) in e-Health, designed to create a thriving pan-European e-health market. e-Health is the first of the six LMI’s being carried out by the Commission with other initiatives in areas like textiles, sustainable construction, recycling, bio-based products and renewable energies. The strategy aims to maximise the health market and reduce the cost of new products or services into the market. As per the estimation, Europe is estimated to have a total of approximately 5,000 European small-and-medium-sized enterprises operating in the e-Health market. The paper divides the e-Health market into four main categories of applications and services: clinical information systems; telemedicine and homecare; integrated regional and national health information networks and distributed electronic health records; and secondary usage non-clinical systems. The paper primarily focuses on two main areas telecare/homecare and clinical information in the primary healthcare sector.
Indian Government releases INR 93.59 billion for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The Government of India has allocated INR 93.59 billion for the implementation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in various states. The Central Government has allocated INR 16.09 billion to Uttar Pradesh, INR 13.54 billion to Bihar, and INR 10.13 billion to Rajasthan. In this regard, the Central Government has provided INR 106.71 billion to Union Territories in the Budget Estimates 2007-08 for the implementation of the flagship programme.
ID card e-Purse under study in China
The Government of China has reserved capacity in Hong Kong smart identity cards to develop an e-Purse function to fulfill the demand of public. The Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development of China, Frederick Ma stated that an e-Purse will allow cardholders to make cash free retail transactions. He stated that the government has set a timetable for implementing an e-Purse option, after considering the Monetary Authority’s views and the market situations. The Transport Department is exploring the legal feasibility of the move with the Department of Justice and the legislative amendments required. The Government’s Chief Information Officer is implementing a pilot infrastructural authentication service using the secure personal identification number embodied in smart identity cards and card face data for testing the authentication process of e-Government services.
China unveils healthcare scheme
According to US networking giant Cisco, China’s Health Minister has recently announced an ambitious programme to provide basic healthcare for every citizen in the world’s most populous nation. Chen Zhu said the Healthy China 2020 programme would provide a universal national health service and promote equal access to public services. Chen was speaking at the National Health Forum in Beijing.
With the ambitious title of Healthy China 2020, the programme has multiple goals, including improving life expectancy, which this year has reached 73 years. It will be a massive challenge for the Government, but the Health Ministry has been tasked to fill what the Health Minister called ‘a significant gap between the party requirements and people’s new expectations’. There is an extra reason for China to work on the health system. As Beijing gears up for the summer Olympic Games, China wants to strengthen disease-monitoring and evaluate any public health hazards.
In a related news it is reported that ‘Rising medical costs have become the top concerns of Chinese people, according to a new survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS.) The survey of 101,029 families nationwide revealed 15.3 percent of those polled chose ‘medical and health services’ as one of their concerns. Growing public criticism of soaring medical fees, lack of access, poor doctor-patient relations and the low coverage of the medicare system had compelled China to launch a new round of medical reform.’
Poland Embassy donates 35 computers to secondary schools in Kenya
The Government of Poland has donated 36 computers to secondary schools in Kilimanjaro Region as part of a strategy to integrate educational institutions in computer-based learning systems.
The Polish embassy has donated these computers to the NGO, which coordinates computer-based technology to upgrade country’s secondary schools in Kilimanjaro, Ruvuma and Singida regions. The project is part of the Government’s strategy to speed up ICT skills in secondary schools. According to the official, the CCYD project will help schools to generate incomes by providing computer education at affordable prices to the local communities. The computer-enabled classrooms will allow students and teachers from outside the schools compound to access computer and related technologies, and thus improve their knowledge in ICT.