Current concern around the government's My Health Record roll-out could have been avoided had the Department of Health addressed the issues raised in its own consultation period. Almost all of the system's privacy, security and health issues were anticipated as far back as 2015. However, those who made submissions were left in the dark because the analysis report was effectively buried.
An exclusive report, obtained by Crikey via freedom of information, shows that extensive communication to consumers and ease of opting out were identified as necessary elements of the scheme. However, the government branch responsible for the roll-out of My Health Record, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), has failed to follow through on these points.
Many of the consultation submissions stipulated only conditional support for an opt-out approach. Indeed, the report observed that privacy and security were recurring themes of the submissions and that communication and education were consistently highlighted, especially with regard to marginalised populations.