Government concedes changes to My Health Record

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"My Health Record will provide health practitioners with significantly enhanced access to the information they need to treat their patients safely and effectively". That's seems to be par for the course in general in government, but the past few have been particularly so, especially when it comes to understanding the digital needs of its citizens.

People who did not have access to a computer to opt out online could ring the My Health Record opt out hotline, he said.

The government is also seeking to amend the legislation to allow people to permanently cancel their record and delete it from the My Health Record database, Hunt said.

While we'd have to hope the government would wise up on its belief the system is hackproof (because that doesn't exist, and is basically a shout out to criminals to try), at least it has bowed to pressure to change its legislation, something Fairfax confirmed in a story with a statement from Health Minister Greg Hunt.

The Australian Digital Health Agency, which operates the My Health Record system, has previously said that as a matter of policy it will not release eHealth records without a warrant - however, the legislation imposes no such requirement.

Health Minister Greg Hunt, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has backed down over the My Health Record controversy.

Now we just wish the government had the foresight to investigate these issues as potential problems before they'd happen.

Currently, the system will only render a record inaccessible after an individual decides to opt-out after a record is created; all the data is still retained within the My Health Record system.

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That aspect of the e-health system was so contentious that when the Parliamentary Library published an opinion that the legislation did, in fact, provide warrantless access to the records, the piece was briefly unpublished before being replaced with a version that was less confronting to the government.

Trent Yarwood, an infectious diseases specialist and member of tech advocacy group FutureWise, told The Register there's no detail beyond "there will be changes".

"Changes to the legislation that remove any questions about who may be able to access the records ensure that the records will be able to be used in line with the RACGP's position statement on My Health Records", said RACGP president-elect Dr Harry Nespolon.

Tony Bartone, president of the AMA, said "after the assurances we received last night and the commitment to strengthen the legislation, we can now move forward and have certainty around the protections to the privacy of those records that our patients expect".

"I also welcome the additional communications to the public to assist individuals make an informed decision as to whether or not to have a My Health Record".

The RACGP said the proposed changes would allay patient concerns about the My Health Record.

"The remaining two breaches were the result of a consumer accessing a My Health Record that was not their own due to a processing error by the Department of Human Services".