More than 2.5 million Australians have opted out of the My Health Record, showing just how badly the botched Liberal rollout damaged public trust in this important reform.
Under Labor questioning in Senate estimates on Wednesday, the Australian Digital Health Agency revealed 2,517,921 opted out of the system before the end of January.
And that figure doesn’t include an estimated 300,000 others who had records but cancelled them.
That’s a dramatic increase on the 1,147,000 figure the Agency revealed in October – showing 1.4 million Australians scrambled to opt out after the Government’s original planned end date.
Labor supports a national digital health record – which is why we created one when we were last in Government.
But the Government’s rushed implementation of an opt-out model created a range of problems and severely undermined public support for a system that could deliver enormous health benefits for all Australians.
While the Government adopted all of Labor’s legislative reforms to the system last year they failed to adequately address other lingering security and privacy concerns before the end of the opt-out.
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.
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, 20 FEBRUARY 2019