Australian Federal Police must be immediately called in to investigate the Medicare rebate scam that has breached the security of personal records and bank details of Australians using the Medicare system.
The Abbott/Turnbull Government has repeatedly failed to answer questions about the scale of the illegal use of Medicare information, raising fears that fraud is ongoing, widespread and many patients’ records and bank details have been compromised.
Senator Cameron first raised questions in August when whistle-blowers claimed that bank details and patient records were being accessed by scammers to divert Medicare rebates into fraudulent accounts. Victims of the scam have since appeared on Ch7 News and in the Daily Telegraph to tell their stories.
The Abbott/Turnbull Government has still not answered seven questions on notice put to them on 19 August by Senator Cameron. This is in breach of Senate standing orders which require answers within 30 days. Former Minister Marise Payne failed to answer questions in the Senate on Thursday 17 September regarding the scam.
Further information received from whistle-blowers adds to real concerns that this problem may be far bigger than originally thought. Senator Cameron has written an additional seven questions to new Minister for Human Services Stuart Robert in relation to the security of Medicare clients’ personal records and bank details. The public needs to be assured that their personal information is safe and secure.
The Minister needs to answer all of Senator Cameron’s written questions and tell the public:
- Are patient records and bank details safe?
- Are patients properly notified when their bank details (for the purpose of receiving rebates) are changed?
- Is fraud still occurring and what is being done to stop it?
- When did the previous Minister first receive notice of this problem?
- When did the Department of Human Services (DHS) notify the police of this problem?
- Has DHS notified the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner that there may have been breaches of people’s personal records and banking details?
- Has DHS notified the Secretary of the Department of Health that there may have been a breach of the privacy of patients?
- Has the Secretary of the Department of Health notified patients that there may have been a breach of their privacy, and has the Secretary notified the public that there may have been a breach of the privacy of a large number of individuals?
- Have the Australian Federal Police been notified, and if not, why not?
Above all, the problem needs to be fixed and people’s records and details secured.