MEDIA RELEASE of 6 March 2017
Government announces opt-out trials for health record
The Federal Government has
announced that it is trialling a new registration
system for the old PCEHR, now called the My Health Record.
forgets to explain how to opt-out
The new registration system is called opt-out. Instead of allowing people to elect if they want or need another health record, the Federal Government has decided that it will try and create a new one, for everybody.
Unfortunately, in the media release they haven’t mentioned what you should do if you want to opt-out, neither do they even mention why you should seriously consider opting-out. There are many people who should be very careful about letting the government put lots of identifying information into a central database. But when you are selling something you never offer up reasons for not buying.
Almost makes you think they don’t want anyone to opt-out. That would make analysis of the results easier and boost the numbers.
As it happens, the Department of Health, in the depths of its website hidden from all but the most persistent, allows you to let them know that you are thinking about opting out. Sometime after 4 April you will be able to opt-out and they will remind you of this.
It is also mentioned in the letters to be sent out but once again no information on why you might want to consider opting out.
What this all means in terms of identifying yourself, or if you need a myGov account or if you don't have the internet or if you are away from home and don't get your all important letter, it doesn't say.
In fact there is a lot the government isn't saying about the my Health Record, starting with the fact that it isn't designed to be used for primary health care. However, it can be used by law enforcement and revenue protection agencies. What that means is that the police, ASIO, ATO and Border Protection, amongst others can all request to see your health data. You won't know about it because the government won't tell you.
Why is it doing all this? The government, in its eagerness to sell you something you probably don't need and which is a risk to your privacy, hasn't explained.
What the APF has said about the PCEHR/MyHReHealth Bill – Senate Committee on Community Affairs Report, Letter to Senators (10 Nov 2015)
Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Bill 2015, Submission to Senate Standing Committee On Community Affairs (28 Oct 2015)
Opt-Out and the PCEHR, Letter to Senators (30 Oct 2015)
Contact for This Media ReleaseDr Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Chair Health Committee
Australian Privacy Foundation
Interesting and important perspective in my view - as I had a minor part in putting the release together.