AU: Debate needed on patient records

Consumer groups frustrated by the slow pace on e-health are forming a coalition to pressure the federal government to release secret documents and engage in an open debate over plans for a national patient record-sharing system.

The Consumer-Centred E-Health Coalition is a response to “government secrecy and lack of consultation” launched by the Australian Privacy Foundation, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Cancer Voices and the University of NSW’s Cyberspace Policy and Law Centre.

Their outrage was sparked by the narrow focus and limited opportunity to comment on the Healthcare Identifiers and Privacy discussion paper — key components of a broad e-health rollout, says convener Juanita Fernando, chairwoman of the APF’s health committee.

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