Labor will fight the Government’s plan to hand private and intimate health data that is usually only disclosed between a person and their GP to a for-profit telecommunications corporation.
On the eve of the Federal election being called the Government signed a $220 million contract for the operation of the National Cancer Screening Register, signing on the dotted line to hand pap smear and bowel cancer results to Telstra.
The Government signed the contract despite no legislation having been passed to establish the National Register, and they are now trying to rush through legislation without giving Parliament the time to properly consider the implications of their hushed deal.
While Labor supports the introduction of the National Cancer Screening Register, we have serious concerns about the risks of giving Australians’ most sensitive health data to a telecommunications corporation that has never managed a register like this.
Why is the Government determined to hand a for-profit provider control of Australians’ most intimate health information, such as results of pap smears that allow inferences about a person’s sexual status?
In just another example of Malcolm Turnbull’s determination to privatise our health system, the Government has put Australians’ Medicare numbers and Medicare claims information in the hands of a multinational telecommunications corporation.
At least 27 times during the election campaign, Malcolm Turnbull said that he would never outsource Medicare – but that’s exactly what he is doing here.
Labor’s amendments make it clear that the new National Cancer Screening Register can only be operated by a government or not-for-profit organisation and will ensure that the integrity and intention of the Register is protected. As a Parliament we have the responsibility to protect the integrity of Australians’ health data.
TUESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY 0428 816 751