Government announces increased privacy for My Health Record

Doug Hendrie

1/08/2018 11:05:41 AM

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced the Government will strengthen the My Health Record Act to deny law enforcement and other agencies access to health records without a court order.

RACGP President-elect Dr Harry Nespolon met with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday.
RACGP President-elect Dr Harry Nespolon met with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday.

The move to toughen privacy provisions in My Health Record legislation comes immediately after Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt met with RACGP President-elect Dr Harry Nespolon yesterday.
Australians will now also be able to cancel their records permanently and have their information deleted from the system.
The change comes after major public debate over privacy and security concerns regarding My Health Record, after the program shifted from an opt-in to an opt-out model on 16 July.
Dr Nespolon praised the decision. 
‘The commitment to Australian patients from Minister Hunt is a clear win and will enable confident and safe use of the system into the future,’ he told newsGP.
‘I would like to thank and applaud Minister Hunt for listening to the RACGP’s – and our 38,000 members’ – concerns about the privacy of the system. The general practice community has clearly and vehemently demonstrated these issues are of utmost importance.
‘Changes to the legislation that remove any questions about who may be able to access the records ensure that the records will be able to be used in line with the RACGP’s position statement on My Health Records.
‘When a patient steps into the office of one of our GPs, we want them to know that their health information is private and protected.’
Dr Nespolon said the RACGP would continue to work closely with the minister to ensure GP and patient concerns are heard over My Health Record.
‘Public communications are key to ensuring that Australians know about a My Health Record and can have informed discussions with their GPs on what information they want uploaded into the system,’ he said.
‘I look forward to reviewing the proposed legislative changes in more detail when available, and welcome the bipartisan support for the common sense changes.’
Minister Hunt said the Government will work with medical organisations to communicate to the public about the benefits and purpose of the My Health Record, so people can make an informed choice.
‘We will be looking to implement and introduce these changes as soon as possible,’ he said.

data-security health-data my-health-record privacy

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