AU: Privacy concerns over unresolved health ID plan

Ian Townsend reports:

After Tuesday’s budget, the Government was at pains to make people feel they would be in control of their electronic medical records if they opted into the system when it started in 2012.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon described it as being like banking online where you could access your statement and details.

“The Commonwealth will not be holding the data,” she said.

“We will be building the parts of the system that link a doctor’s records with a pharmacist’s records, with a hospital discharge and it will be up to the patient to decide who can access that information and when.”

But one of the key elements of the eHealth system – the Healthcare Identifiers Bill – is still before the Senate.

The Healthcare Identifier was to be a number assigned to everyone in the country, tying the eHealth system together. The voluntary system announced in the budget has increased confusion over what the Government’s long-term plans are.

Privacy advocates say there is still nowhere near enough detail about the eHealth scheme to help people to make an informed decision about it.

Read more on ABC (AU)

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