First the Liberals botched the My Health Record rollout – and now they’ve botched their own clean up job.
Nearly four months after public controversy first erupted – and with less than 10 days to go until the opt-out period ends – we still don’t know what the Government is planning to do to fix this mess.
Will they push ahead with their woefully inadequate bill, which addresses only a fraction of the concerns raised throughout the Senate inquiry? Or will they adopt Labor’s six sensible amendments?
The former option is clearly unacceptable.
But the latter option would require the Government to send its legislation back to the lower house for approval – and the lower house doesn’t sit again until 10 days after the opt-out period ends.
We once again call on Minister Hunt to heed Labor’s call for a further extension to the opt-out period. This rollout should not continue until all concerns have been resolved through legislation, and a Privacy Commissioner review has been completed.
The Government’s rollout has seriously undermined public support for an electronic health record system that could deliver enormous benefits to patients and clinicians.
If the Government fails to address these concerns with further measures, Labor will move the following amendments to the Government’s bill to ensure:
- The My Health Record can never be privatised or commercialised;
- Private health insurers can never access My Health Records, including de-identified data;
- Employees’ right to privacy is protected in the context of employer-directed health care;
- Vulnerable children and parents such as those fleeing domestic violence are protected, by narrowing the definition of parental responsibility;
- The System Operator (the Australian Digital Health Agency) cannot delegate access to My Health Records to other entities; and
- There are tougher penalties for breaches of the Act.
TUESDAY, 6 NOVEMBER 2018