Health Reform

KING COMMITS TO REVIEW OF RECORD

There’s a one in ten chance that you weren’t too keen on the Government making your health records a public commodity.

  • Do we have trust issues? Very likely. The murmurs of public apprehension about MyHealth had floated around the blogosphere in the lead up to the opt-out date, bolstered by the resignation of MyHealth Record’s privacy chief Nicole Hunt in November of last year.

It’s been confirmed that these murmurs resulted in a mass refusal to participate, with more than 2.5 million Australians opting out of the system. This number is a significant increase from the 1.1 million opt-outers in October 2018.

With the figures coming from the Australian Digital Health Agency during Senate Estimates on Wednesday, its clear that in 2.5 million people’s minds the security and privacy concerns trumped the benefits of a national digital health record – a concept with bipartisan support.

  • Who’s talking about it? Shadow Health Minister Catherine King MP has since reiterated that a future Shorten Labor Government would commission an independent Privacy Commissioner to review the system. Looking at informed consent, consumer engagement, access settings and protections for vulnerable people – is it surprising that 10% of the population have opted-out of the system in its current state.

It was marketed on the idea that the record would save your life in an emergency, but maybe a centralised digital record needs to be proven to be a fortified system before it’s a life-saving one.

  • What happens if the Government changes in May? It’s unlikely that the concept will get scrapped, as Ms King herself has supported the idea. Instead, we will likely see an attempt to regain trust and re-inform the public of what MyHealth can stand for.
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