Senate passes My Health Record privacy amendments

 

The laws and privacy provisions surrounding My Health Records (MHR) will be significantly improved after the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill passed through the Senate this week.

 

The amendments made to the MHR include major wins for workers, thanks to work from the Australian union movement and the ALP. The most serious changes were identified through recent union consultations and Senate inquiry. The issues addressed include:

  • Preventing employers and insurers requiring the disclosure of MHR information of employees.
  • Preventing the use of MHR information for the purposes of hiring or continuing to employ someone or for use of insurance purposes, including workers compensation.
  • Ensuring that the MHR system cannot be privatised or operated by a private provider.
  • Stronger protections against the use of MHR data for statistical purposes, particularly preventing insurers from using the data.
  • Emphasising the ability to request the complete deletion of a MHR at any time.
  • Further strengthening protections for people suffering from domestic violence.

 

These changes would not have occurred were it not for the work of the Australian union movement. The SDA will continue to ensure that the MHR system does not violate any employment and privacy rights of Australian workers if they choose to use it.

 

The deadline for opting out of the automatic creation of digital health records has also been pushed back to 31 January 2019.  

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