THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
GOVERNMENT’S MY HEALTH BACKDOWN DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH
The Turnbull Government’s response to the My Health Record fiasco is completely inadequate and will do little to allay community fears about privacy and security.
Greg Hunt has completely bungled the My Health Record rollout and he must do a great deal more to fully restore public trust in this important reform.
His humiliating backdown over police access to health records is only a first step.
The legislation underpinning the My Health Record was designed for an opt-in system.
The Government made the decision to shift to opt-out but was too incompetent to realise it needed to strengthen privacy and security provisions as a result.
For two weeks, Mr Hunt has been insisting there was no issue and that the Australian Digital Health Agency’s policies were enough to safeguard patient privacy.
We now know that was false. This misinformation has further damaged the Government’s credibility and seriously undermined trust in e-Health.
Mr Hunt has agreed to a number of other changes demanded by Labor and leading doctors’ groups, including an extension of the opt-out period and a new public information campaign.
However we fear the one-month extension will not give the Government enough time to run a comprehensive public information campaign to enable all Australians to make an informed choice about whether to be a part of the My Health Record system.
We also call on the Government to release further details about the public information campaign so we can judge whether their plans are adequate.
Mr Hunt’s response also does nothing to address new concerns the My Health Record may risk the safety of women fleeing abusive partners.
The Government must immediately explain what it’s doing on this front.
Labor remains of the view the Government should suspend the My Health Record rollout until this mess can be cleaned up.
That should include a comprehensive review of the underpinning legislation and a stocktake of all privacy and security measures.
The Government has botched the NDIS, the NBN, the census, robodebt and now the My Health Record. This is a Government that is there for the announcement but goes missing when it’s time to implement.
WEDNESDAY, 1 AUGUST 2018