AMA pushes for assurances on data protection at My Health Record inquiry
AUSTRALIA’S most powerful doctors’ group wants further assurances that data on the federal government’s controversial e-health records system won’t ever be handed to private health insurers.
The Australian Medical Association will on Tuesday make the push at a parliamentary inquiry examining the My Health Record system.
AMA President Tony Bartone says the group is happy with strict restrictions blocking private health insurers from accessing the data, with people’s identities removed.
But he wants the status of the rules to be upgraded so they could only be changed through parliament.
“That would give the parliament the opportunity to see any changes and ensure that the Australian public is protected,” Dr Bartone told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
A framework for how the data can be used by third parties is up for review in 2020.
“We would like to see that taken off the table,” Dr Bartone said.
De-identified data is currently available to accredited educational and university bodies to assist with research and policy development, he said.
My Health Record came under fire when it was due to be fully rolled out over concerns people’s data would not be protected adequately.
The government last month supported the Greens in referring the issue to the Senate’s community affairs committee, which will look at privacy concerns and other issues with the system.
The decision to switch My Health Record from opt-out to opt-in will come under the microscope, as will third-party access to data.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has promised to change laws so police and government agencies will need a court order to obtain patient data.