Labor still wants health record suspension

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney today

"These proposed changes build on the existing privacy and security safeguards in the My Health Records Act, including sanctions enforceable by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner", Falk said. That's seems to be par for the course in general in government, but the past few have been particularly so, especially when it comes to understanding the digital needs of its citizens.

Mr Hunt said the reform would "remove any ambiguity on this matter".

The government is also seeking to amend the legislation to allow people to permanently cancel their record and delete it from the My Health Record database, Hunt said.

'The AMA has always been protective and vigilant about the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship, and this should not be affected by the My Health Record, ' Dr Bartone said in a statement last week.

The Australian Digital Health Agency, the system operator of My Health Record, had previously said its policy was not to release patient records to police and government without a court order.

Police will now need warrants to access digital health records but legal experts warn loopholes could still put family violence victims at risk.

Now we just wish the government had the foresight to investigate these issues as potential problems before they'd happen.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the changes following talks with the Australian Medical Association and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The move, announced by health minister Greg Hunt, follows a widespread backlash against the national eHealth record system following the decision to move to an 'opt-out' approach to My Health Record enrolment.

Queensland Health Minister Dr Steven Miles has threatened to disrupt the three-month opt-out roll-out period, calling for this week's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on Thursday between states and territories to discuss whether to suspend it.

"When a patient steps into the office of one of our Global Positioning System, we want them to know that their health information is private and protected", said RACGP president-elect Dr Harry Nespolon.

Dr Bartone sought to meet Mr Hunt after doctors, patients and privacy advocates raised a raft of concerns about the My Health Record Act.

"The remaining two breaches were the result of a consumer accessing a My Health Record that was not their own due to a processing error by the Department of Human Services".

"After the assurances we received last night and the commitment to strengthen the legislation, we can now move forward and have certainty around the protections to the privacy of those records that our patients expect".

While around six million people had opted into the My Health Record scheme in the six years since it was first introduced by Labor in 2012, the Turnbull government was moving to automatically create an electronic health file for every Australian unless they opted out by October 15.

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