AU: Privacy dominates Senate e-health inquiry

Ben Grubb reports:

Over the last two days a Senate inquiry has delved into the government’s plans to roll-out a 16-digit national healthcare identifier for the majority of Australians, with the main obstacle many parties saw to implementation still being privacy.

The inquiry will hand in a report next week which will help inform debate in the Senate over the Bill.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon referred the Bill to a Senate Committee late February due to high levels of community interest.

The Australian Privacy Foundation, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre in the law faculty at the UNSW all spoke at the inquiry.

Dr Juanita Fernando, chair of the health subcommittee for the Australian Privacy Foundation, said that her research showed healthcare workers shared log-on details and that there were no penalties to stop this from happening.

“When you talk to doctors, nurses and allied healthcare workers they are quite frank about the fact that they share log-on details,” she said.

Read more on ZDNet (AU)

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