Morrison Government needs to listen to Senators, experts and delay My Health rollout

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The Senate has voted in favour of delaying the roll-out of My Health Records and it’s time the Morrison Government heeded yet another warning about the bungled scheme.

In rare showing of unity, Labor, The Greens and the crossbench Senators came together to call on the government to “extend or suspend” the My Health opt-out period, due to end this week, in order to restore public confidence in the reform.

This vote comes after a Fairfax report last week revealed the Australian Digital Health Agency’s (ADHA) director of privacy quit in recent weeks because her concerns over patient privacy were being ignored.

This all reinforces a recent Senate inquiry’s recommendation that the opt-out period should be extended so concerns over privacy breaches and abuses could be addressed.

Electrical Trades Union National Secretary Allen Hicks said it was time Health Minister Greg Hunt listened to the growing chorus of concerns and extend the opt-out period or delay the scheme entirely. 

“Greg Hunt needs to listen to the experts who are growing louder and more numerous by the day,” Mr Hicks said.

“Hunt outright dismissed the ETU when we raised concerns about our members and their families’ medical privacy being put at risk by this scheme.

“Then Hunt dismissed the Senate inquiry into the My Health rollout as a ‘stunt’ then ignored its reasonable recommendation that the opt-out period be extended.

“There have been several health industry experts warn the scheme was open to abuse and vulnerable to lax privacy controls, in addition to recent reports ADHA privacy experts are quitting because their concerns are also being ignored.

“Now the Senate has voted to extend or suspend the opt-out period so the public’s trust and confidence in the scheme can be restored.

“It’s time for Minster Hunt to listen to these warnings, these experts and the Senate majority and stop the My Health rollout now so we can avoid the accident waiting to happen.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum

0419 499 886, nicholas@etuaustralia.org.au


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