MORRISON NEEDS TO EXTEND MY HEALTH RECORD OPT-OUT
The Morrison Government has failed to adequately address lingering security and privacy concerns about the My Health Record as the opt-out period comes to an end.
Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt were dragged kicking and screaming into accepting Labor’s amendments and an extension to the opt-out period last year.
But since then we’ve had more reports of privacy breaches, and we’ve heard the concerns from doctors about their potential legal liabilities. The Government has done nothing to reassure patients or clinicians about these issues.
We had also hoped the Government would have used the two-and-half-month extension to address other outstanding privacy issues – particularly around minors, default settings and automatic uploads. But they have failed to do so.
We maintain there should have been a longer extension of the opt-out period to ensure these issues were sorted out.
And we maintain the Government should commission an independent Privacy Commissioner review of the system. If they fail to do so, a Shorten Labor Government will.
In particular, we want the review to consider:
• The appropriate balance between utility for clinicians, patients and others (such as carers), and privacy and security for individuals;
• The difficulty of ensuring informed consent in an opt-out model, and measures to encourage consumer engagement and informed choice;
• Changes to default access settings that are necessary because of the shift to an opt-out model (from an opt-in model, where informed consent was assured);
• Particular protections for vulnerable people, including minors aged 14-17 and families fleeing domestic violence; and
• Further legislative, policy and system changes that are needed to achieve these aims.
Labor believes in the promise of digital health and established the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record when last in Government.
But we must get this important reform right.
The Government’s implementation of the My Health Record has been a complete debacle from day one. A Shorten Labor Government will get it back on track.
WEDNESDAY, 30 JANUARY 2019