Sunday, November 08, 2015

It Is A Big Day Tomorrow! We Have The Senate Standing Committee On Community Affairs Report On The E-Health Bills.

Here is the announcement of the enquiry:

Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015

On 15 October 2015, the Senate referred the Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015 to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.
Submissions were sought by 28 October 2015. The reporting date is 9 November 2015.
Here is the link:
There were 12 submissions:
Here is the list:
No.      Submitter
1         Carers Australia (PDF 163 KB)
2         Australian Medical Association (PDF 33 KB)
3         Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (PDF 93 KB)  Attachment 1 (PDF 422 KB)
4         Australian Dental Association (PDF 358 KB)
5         National E-Health Transition Authority (PDF 1228 KB)
6         Australian Privacy Foundation (PDF 227 KB)
7         Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (PDF 602 KB)
8         Medicines Australia (PDF 60 KB)
9         Department of Health (PDF 198 KB)
10        Primary Health Care Limited (PDF 227 KB)
11        Ms Helen Nichols (PDF 7653 KB)
12        Consumers e-Health Alliance (PDF 1654 KB)  Attachment 1 (PDF 167 KB)
Here is the link to the page:
There has been some reporting on the submissions:
Examples are:

Privacy Foundation outlines ‘major concerns’ with opt-out e-Health scheme

By Daniel Palmer - 05/11/2015
news The Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) has aired “major concerns” with the Personally Controlled eHealth Record (PCEHR) system and the government’s proposals to make it an ‘opt-out’ scheme.
The PCEHR project was initially funded in the 2010 Federal Budget to the tune of $466.7 million after years of health industry and technology experts calling for development and national leadership in e-health and health identifier technology to better tie together patients’ records and achieve clinical outcomes. The project has been overseen by the Department of Health in coalition with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).
However, the project has been reported to have suffered extensive problems and has suffered from poor uptake by medical facilities and the public. Due to the issues, on 4 November 2013new Coalition Health Minister Peter Dutton kicked off a promised review of the PCEHR project. The project is now set to continue, but will be significantly revamped under the Coalition.
In the 2015-16 Budget, the Coalition Government announced $485 million for the redevelopment of the now My Health Record system to ‘strengthen and transform national digital health governance’ through an Australian Commission for eHealth.
The Government is now seeking to pass legislation to make the scheme opt-out by default instead of opt-in, meaning it would be likely to collect the data of many more Australians by default.
In a 29 October statement signed by Bernard Robertson-Dunn, Chair of the APF’s Health Committee, the organisation expressed reservations about plans to make the “re-branded, unpopular and under-used eHealth record system rely on an ‘opt-out’ process to manufacture deemed consent”.
More here:
and here:
6:14pm November 5, 2015

Health records could be hacked: expert

AAP
The private medical details of all Australians could potentially be stolen in an Ashley Madison-style hacking scandal if the federal government pushes ahead with plans to put everyone's records online, an expert has warned.
The Australian Privacy Foundation's Bernard Robertson-Dunn, who has developed IT systems for several government departments, says the proposed My Health Record system is full of privacy risks.
He says the recent Ashley Madison adultery website hacking scandal - in which a group of hackers released credit card details, email accounts and home addresses of the website's users - showed hacking was "always a possibility".
Health Minister Sussan Ley announced a reboot of the current e-health system in May, switching it from an opt-in to an opt-out model in order to get more people using it.
The model would contain the health records of every Australian, unless they chose to opt out of it.
Trials of the new system are set to begin in early 2016 in north Queensland and the NSW Blue Mountains region, involving one million Australians.
More here:
and here:

Patient medication records should be mandatory in eHealth profiles

Medicines Australia has called on the Federal Government to make a patient’s medication records a mandatory inclusion in eHealth profiles to improve the safe use of medicines.

The option has been put in a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Government’s eHealth legislation which seeks to make changes to the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).
Each year up to 230,000 hospitalisations are attributed to medication misadventure, many of which may be avoidable.
Medicines Australia says it believes there is an opportunity to reduce these cases through better data collation, coordination and record access via the eHealth system.
The submission from the peak industry body says, “Optimising My Health Record to improve the recording, sharing and management of prescribed (and non-prescribed) medication will enable better monitoring of patients’ medication management through the primary care, hospital, aged care and pharmacy settings.
More here:
What is interesting is that other that the Government entities (NEHTA and DoH) there are a huge range of serious and common concerns raised. The OAIC is definitely not at all happy with things as they presently stand.
A clear majority of respondents really want major re-consideration of the Bills. We also have to ask just why this report is coming out before the Human Rights Committee provides its report on all the issues around - opt-out?
Just what the enquiry recommends should happen next will be really fascinating!
I hope to have a post up in a day or so about what happened.
David.

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