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My Health Records Act 2012

I had started to put together an article showing how Greg Hunt, in his insistence that the My Health legislation would not allow the police and others to access our private healthcare records without a court order, was wrong. Fortunately the AMA and other concerned bodies have brought the minister to his senses and he has finally acknowledged that the legislation as it stands does not require a court order for our personal records to be accessed and he has promised to introduce legislation to amend the act.

The worrying thing is that it took so much effort to demonstrate to Hunt that he was wrong and even then, he blamed it on Labor.

Greg Hunt and the Australian Digital Health Agency have repeatedly said that “no documents will be released without a court order” but the claim had been contradicted by the parliamentary library and now then the Queensland Police Union.

To be clear the legislation says that :

Section 70 Disclosure for law enforcement purposes, etc.

(1) The System Operator is authorised to use or disclose health information included in a healthcare recipient’s My Health Record if the System Operator reasonably believes that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary for one or more of the following things done by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body:

(a) the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of criminal offences, breaches of a law imposing a penalty or sanction or breaches of a prescribed law;

(b) the enforcement of laws relating to the confiscation of the proceeds of crime;

(c) the protection of the public revenue;

(d) the prevention, detection, investigation or remedying of seriously improper conduct or prescribed conduct;

(e) the preparation for, or conduct of, proceedings before any court or tribunal, or implementation of the orders of a court or tribunal.

The act defines the System Operator as :

(1) The System Operator is:

(a) the Secretary of the Department; or

(b) if a body established by a law of the Commonwealth is prescribed by the regulations to be the System Operator—that body.


So, before I went to print, the minister conceded what was obvious to all bar him : it should not have taken so much effort to get him to read the act that he administers and yes, minister, it was an ALP piece of legislation to which the coalition subscribed. But that’s not the point !


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  1. etnorb

    I was a registered My Health “user”, but when I heard that this inept, lying mob was going to implement this stupid “opt-in opt-out” crap, I realised that I was not going to keep being “in” as this system is just far too easy to be hacked etc. I opted-out, which took me only a few minutes over the ‘phone, although this was after trying for a week to do it on computer & by ‘phone! After a week or so, maybe the ‘phone lines were not so busy, as I was able then to opt-out. I am not in favor of ANY of the multitude of computer “systems” that every Government department seems to have, all of which do not seem to “talk” to one another. To me, yet another idea that should have been a lot more thought into, before foisting it onto we taxpayers!

  2. Mobius Ecko

    If you want an example of stupidity by this government, then you need look no further than them using the same person,Tim Kelsey, who was the architect of the failed UK central health records system.


    As is happening here, the UK care.data system, also opt out on Kelsey’s design, promised there would be no breaches of security, but was abandoned soon after because of breaches in security. The parallels of My Health to care.data are striking, inlcuding in the pie-in-the-sky promises being made.

  3. New England Cocky

    I have tried twice to opt out of My Health Record (MHR) system, because I do not believe that it is secure against any hacker, or even from the health insurance and life insurance industries, to say the least.

    However, the My Health website has twice advised me that “We are unable to process your request. Please start again or call the Help lie on 1800 723 471”.

    As a skeptical political analyst, I believe that this is an intentional strategy to ensure that everybody gets included on the MHR system because they cannot, or are not allowed to, opt out against a hard deadline, then whacko, everybody who failed to connect through to an unworkable web-link and is in MHR for life, like it or not.

    This has all the hallmarks of a student activist prank that we used in the too distant past to achieve progress under difficult university administrations.

    On one rejection there is the notice, “We have designed this website to meet the Australian Government standard” so this is reasonable to consider this yet another SNAFU by an uncaring, fascist misgovernment filling the Treasury benches for their own personal financial benefit by plundering the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme while they defer a necessary election to free Australia from this ineffective encumbrance.

  4. Kronomex

    I was going to comment but that smug, smarmy, supercilious, and used car salesman look on Hunts face turned me off.

  5. Wun Farlung

    I saw IPA flunkie Tim Wilson threw in an all Labor’s fault on a twit account
    It’s time they got themselves some focus groups that aren’t smellograoh subscribers

  6. Col

    I can see a future where the LNP privatise my health records . And we have to pay a fee to access our own records..

  7. Pete Petrass

    I am rather disturbed by Hunt and his insisting a warrant was required to access health records. This leaves one with 2 options – a) he was just doing an Abbott with absolute blatant lying or b) he has never even read the legislation.
    I am surprised that they did not change it to an opt-in rather than just extending the opt-out time.
    I was previously in the system but have just opted out, I still do not trust them. Along with every IT project under this government being an abject failure the next step would be offshoring our data so we can read in the news again about how our data was hacked or sold in India. And so what if everyone will now have to get a warrant to access data, that is the easy part and they will be handed out like flyers at an election. That means nothing has really changed. Still trying to work out why the Tax Office would want my health records.
    On another note with the introduction of legislation to allow government to collect our metadata it became evident that just about everyone would have access, even local councils. What does that mean for our health data, they have not yet produced a list of who would be able to apply for a warrant?

  8. Kerri

    Correct. That is not the point. The point is that, like every member of this idealogically driven government, Hunt is so caught up in the desperate desire to control and scrutinize every aspect of our lives that he failed, typically, to recognise that we won’t cop it when that scrutiny is unnecessary. Like Dutton who wants records of the facial structure of every citizen so that he can legitimize his belief that we are all criminals at heart.

  9. Kerri

    Don’t mistake that expression on Hunts face for the complete vacuouosity behind it.

  10. John Marshall

    Terence, “no documents will be released without a court order”. Yeah, right. The best laid plans of mice and men. Two years ago there was a case in QLD where things went south for a woman living under protection of a DV order. A police officer accessed her case record and gave her address to her abuser who must have been a mate of or held something over the officer. As every racing driver knows a wheel is as secure as the loosest nut. It’s easy to misuse either single or multiple records for profit or fun or even to create a truly enduring mess. Imagine getting a hold of the PM’s record, or that of the Opposition leader of the day.

    If the system is so good, perhaps all LNP and Labor MPs could provide a Stat Dec as to whether or not they have opted out of the record system. I’m betting most will opt out.

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