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Blue Mountains News

Blue Mountains Residents Get Their Chance to Have a Say on My Health Record

Source: Susan Templeman MP, Member For Macquarie
Posted: 5 Sep 2018
Blue Mountains residents now have a chance to have their say on the My Health Record system, with a Senate inquiry underway.

Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman MP said the Senate had agreed to Labor’s calls for a comprehensive inquiry into the My Health Record system in response to significant privacy and security concerns.

Ms Templeman said the inquiry would give concerned residents an opportunity to share their views about My Health Record or suggest improvements.

“We support the My Health Record in principle but the Government has really botched the implementation,” Ms Templeman said.

“As a result, the future of this important reform is now at risk."

Ms Templeman said Labor began delivering an electronic health record system when last in office, but the system was ‘opt-in’, rather than the current ‘opt-out’.

“We thought that was the right approach – it meant people had to give informed consent,” she said

“The Government decided to change this to an ‘opt-out’ system – but never properly explained why or attempted to educate the public about their approach.

“The Blue Mountains were part of the Government’s first round of trial areas in 2016 to introduce the My Health Record system,” she said.

“As a result, most residents in the Blue Mountains would already have a My Health Record.”

Ms Templeman said many residents may not realise they already had a My Health Record.

“At the time, there wasn’t nearly the same level of concern or significant public discussion,” Ms Templeman said. “It may have flown under people’s radar."

“Since My Health Record was implemented nationally and concerns were raised about security and privacy, my office has been fielding a large number of calls from residents who weren’t aware they had a My Health Record. 

“Instead of ‘opting out’, people who have an existing record but no longer want one, will have to ‘cancel’ their My health Record.

 “We hope this inquiry will shed light on how to fix the Government’s mess and ensure the My Health Record succeeds.

“We’re hoping to hear from residents as well as GPs, specialists, pharmacists and other health professionals.

“I encourage anyone in the Blue Mountains to ensure their voice is heard by making a submission.”

Ms Templeman said if implemented by a competent Government, e-health could deliver tangible health care improvements and save the health system up to $7 billion a year through fewer diagnosis, treatment and prescriptions errors.

The Government has announced some changes to the system but Labor doesn’t think they go far enough.

“The Government should suspend the opt-out process until all privacy and security concerns are addressed,” Ms Templeman said.

 
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