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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8221


Senator POLLEY (Tasmania) (09:32): Labor will support the amendment. The government concedes that parental access to My Health Records of people aged 14 to 17 is problematic. They have promised a review of this issue, basically saying, 'Trust us; we'll fix this later.' But, given the government's complete bungling of the opt-out period, Labor doesn't trust that assurance. The amendment moved by the Greens was proposed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The GPs say that it's important to move to ensure the trust of young patients, and Labor will support it. But this amendment addresses only one issue in the government's opt-out scheme.

Today we have seen alarming new reports that a range of health providers will be able to access Australians' most sensitive health information on My Health Record. This could include whether Australians are impotent or have a sexually transmitted disease or an alcohol or drug issue. Labor has been calling for a Privacy Commissioner review of the default access settings for weeks, but the government has stubbornly refused to act, just as they stubbornly refused to act on the opt-out period until yesterday. Now that the government has backflipped on the opt-out period, they should backflip on these concerns and order an urgent Privacy Commissioner review.