25 July 2018

MHR watch: roundup of key media reports


It’s hard to keep up so we’ve compiled a summary of the main breaking reports about the MHR as they unfold in various media outlets over the past few days

Guardian reports police can access MHR without warrant

The parliamentary library advice by Nigel Brew, the director of foreign affairs defence and security, notes that under section 70 of the My Health Records Act 2012 ADHA can disclose health information when it “reasonably believes” it is necessary to investigate or prosecute a crime, to counter “seriously improper conduct” or to “protect the public revenue”.
“It is reasonable to assume that this might include investigations into potential fraud and other financial offences involving agencies such as Centrelink, Medicare, or the Australian Tax Office,” the advice said.

Brew noted that currently a patient’s consent was needed to release their medical records and “law enforcement agencies can only access a person’s records (via their doctor) with a warrant, subpoena or court order”.

The MyHealth Record legislation therefore “represents a significant reduction in the legal threshold for the release of private medical information to law enforcement”.

The ADHA has said that no government agencies have access to the My Health Record. “No documents have been released in the last six years and none will be released in the future without a court order/coronial or similar order,” it said in a statement.

This is an excerpt from the story. Full story HERE

AMA head says hold on to your horses in the SMH

AMA head Tony Bartone wrote in the SMH on Monday

There is a lot of misinformation around and people are concerned over fears of hacking and third-party access to files but we continue to be assured that the current My Health Record model offers all the relevant protection.

The finite benefits far outweigh the possible concerns. It is a great asset for the health system.

Full article HERE

Today he expanded at a Press Club function which we are reporting on separately in today’s newsletter

Leading Health Tech Newsletter’s thumbs down editorial says ‘what did they expect to happen?’

Pretty much the only thing that could have made this week’s debacle worse would have been an actual breach of the system itself. On Monday morning, a huge gang of online activists were just waiting for the clock to tick over to opt out before they let all hell break loose, and my word did they succeed. Social and mass media were dominated in the morning by stories about long delays and system collapses, and by the afternoon it had turned into a veritable production line of tinfoil hats.

Full HERE: but you need a subscription.

Hunt gets pessimistic in SMH report: 500% more will opt out than in trials

The number of Australians choosing to opt out of My Health Record could run into the millions, as criticisms of the scheme continue to mount and doctors threaten a boycott to protect their patients’ privacy.

Health Minister Greg Hunt revealed on Tuesday that the federal government expected as many as 10 per cent of eligible patients to reject the program, a figure that would mark a significant increase on the rate of those who declined to participate during last year’s trial.

Full Story HERE

From the coalface: Kangaroo Is GP essay on why he’s opting out has some deep thinking in it

Kangaroo Island GP, Dr Tim Leeuwenburg, has thought deep and hard about the MHR and come up with a very long treatise which says a fair bit about the coalface view on the project.

I am a doctor.  For me, the cornerstone of our business in medicine is consent and confidentiality. It’s pretty much the sine qua non of our job – along with “primum non nocere” (first do no harm).  I take this seriously, as do my colleagues.  We protect your health information and we like to ensure that your health records – whether visiting the primary care doctor or the hospital – remain accurate and confidential.

Perhaps THIS is why the shambles of the #MyHealthRecord concerns me.

Full article HERE

There’s lots more. We will be back on Friday

COVID-19 live update