- to set out the detail of how and when a health care recipient will be notified that their records will uploaded onto the My Health Records system;
- to require that healthcare recipients be given a reasonable amount of time to decide whether to opt-out of the My Health Records system;
- to provide that healthcare recipients are able erase their record from the register at any time;
- to require that if the minister applies the opt-out model to all healthcare recipients in Australia, the minister must consider the privacy implications of this decision and be satisfied that healthcare recipients in the trials were given an appropriate and informed opportunity to opt-out.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
There Really Seem To Be Some Worrying Process Issues In The Management Of The PCEHR.
This appeared a few days ago:
Not all members of parliament’s human rights committee sold on already-legislated eHealth changes
Members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR) have been unable to agree on whether some measures contained in legislation revamping Australia’s national eHealth record were justified.
A report issued in October by committee queried a number of aspects of the Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015.
In its latest report, tabled yesterday in parliament, the committee considered responses from the health minister, Sussan Ley.
The eHealth bill has already been passed unamended by both houses of parliament.
The bill was endorsed by a report from the Senate's Community Affairs Legislation Committee, although during that committee's inquiry some privacy advocates indicated their opposition to the legislation.
The legislation implements recommendations from the 2013 review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), including renaming the record to 'My Health Record'.
The legislation allows the health minister to apply opt-out participation to particular areas.
The changes are intended to enable trials of approaches intended to boost participation in the system, as well as lay the basis for a potential wholesale shift to opt-out.
Trials of an opt-out approach to signups for the national eHealth record will be held in parts of Queensland and NSW, Ley has revealed.
"One of the great criticisms of Labor's model that was that it could not be used unless a patient signed up, rather than an all-inclusive system that simply gives those consumers who do not want their medical history made available the option to opt-out," Ley said in remarks prepared for a National Press Club address in October.
The trials will begin early next year and involve around 1 million people.
Although Ley’s responses to queries from the PJCHR were accepted by some committee members, in the view of others the legislation to enable opt-out is incompatible with the right to privacy.
Here are the recommendations from the Committee (page 74):
2.1 The committee considers that the automatic inclusion of the health record of all Australians on the My Health Record register engages and limits the right to privacy in article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
2.2 Some committee members consider that the minister's response has demonstrated that the bill seeks to improve health outcomes and promotes the right to health and so consider the measures are justifiable.
2.3 Other committee members consider that the minister's response has not adequately addressed the committee's concerns in relation to this right. For the reasons set out above, those committee members consider that the legislation is likely to be incompatible with the right to privacy and recommend, in order to better protect the right to privacy, the legislation be amended:
It is going to be very interesting to see if the Minister actually responds to the Departmental ‘stuff up’ of getting legislation passed before the PJCHR actually responded and if we see some amendments in the New Year.
We now know the Legislation is flawed and the Committee, as a whole, recommends it be fixed.
Over to you Minister.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, December 08, 2015