The Australian Government is introducing a digital health record where all of your health information is stored in one location accessible to all health professionals. On the face of it, this is a great idea. Hospitals, GPs and specialists will be able to see the full story of your health.
My mother-in-law in her later years required a huge number of medications and was under the care of several specialists who did not talk to each other. Consequently she sometimes became ill from the interactions of the drugs with each other.
The My Health Record would have prevented suffering for her and for many other people with chronic health conditions.
But the Government could not leave it there as a service to individual citizens and to the health service. No, they had to use it as a backdoor to spy on our personal data. So numerous agencies have access to your health records regardless of their need to provide health services.
Agencies which can access personal health records include The Australian Tax Office, Centrelink, State and Territory Police Forces, the various crime commissions, the Agency that runs the NDIS and many more.
I am not a huge privacy nut. If you want to know about my haemorrhoid, my blood pressure (controlled nicely by medication), or the prostate infection I had 20 or so years ago, I will happily tell you. That’s my choice.
I will not have nosy public servants having access to my information without my consent, just because they have an interest or they think I might be defrauding them. If they think a crime may be committed, for example by people on sickness benefits, then they should gather evidence and apply for a warrant.
This is yet another “Big Brother” exercise by the Government under the guise of helping the people.
If they rescind the ability of agencies that are not health related, then I will be in it.
You can opt out at http://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au
The Federal Government announced on August 1st that it will legislate to ensure that health records can only be accessed by other agencies after obtaining a court warrant. A win for privacy! After the legislation is passed, I will be opting in.