THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
GOVERNMENT MUST GET E-HEALTH ROLLOUT RIGHT
Labor welcomes that the Turnbull Government has at long last announced the opt-out process for the national rollout of electronic health records.
We support e-health.
Implemented by a competent Government, e-health could deliver tangible health care improvements and save the health system up to $7 billion a year through fewer diagnosis, treatment and prescriptions errors.
That’s why Labor began delivering this important reform when it was last in office.
But given this is the same Government that gave us census fail, stuffed up robodebt, and allowed Australians’ Medicare data to be sold on the darkweb, we have concerns about their ability to properly implement this reform.
Put simply, this is a Government with a woeful track record on IT security and privacy. And now they’re asking all Australians to trust them with their most personal information.
The Liberals made the decision to transition to an opt-out system – but they’ve made no real effort to explain this change to the community.
The fact they tried to slip out the information about a three-month opt-out period late on a Monday afternoon suggests the Government intends to continue with this secretive approach.
Labor hopes the Government will communicate about this effectively with the community to ensure that people who want to opt-out have adequate opportunity to do so.
Labor’s Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record was an opt-in system, with users setting up access preferences and controls.
The Turnbull Government’s My Health Record must maintain the same safeguards for patients, and Labor has been calling on the Government to tell Australians how their information will be protected.
Labor will continue pushing the Turnbull Government to properly communicate with Australians about this project, and to protect the sensitive health information that the My Health Record holds.
TUESDAY, 15 MAY 2018