Catherine King has challenged the Turnbull Government on whether it can roll out the My Health Record system without getting it wrong

It’s been heralded as a “game changer” by the PSA’s Shane Jackson and “strategically very valuable” for pharmacy by the Guild’s David Quilty… but the Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare has suggested that the Government may not be able to implement the system with effective privacy controls in place.

This week the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, announced that Australians who want to opt out of having a My Health Record can do so between 16 July and 15 October 2018.

Ms King says that Labor supports e-health: “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,” she said.

“But given this is the same Government that gave us census fail, stuffed up robodebt, and allowed Australians’ Medicare data to be sold on the darkweb, we have concerns about their ability to properly implement this reform.

“Put simply, this is a Government with a woeful track record on IT security and privacy. And now they’re asking all Australians to trust them with their most personal information.”

Ms King also accused the Government of making “no real effort” to explain the opt out process to the community.

“The fact they tried to slip out the information about a three-month opt-out period late on a Monday afternoon suggests the Government intends to continue with this secretive approach,” she said.

She said that the Coalition Government must implement similar safeguards for patients as were found under the Labor Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record, which was an opt-in system.

My Health Record was launched by former Health Minister Sussan Ley in March 2016. At the time Ms Ley pointed out that the former Labor Government’s opt in approach had led to less than one in 10 Australians signing up for the program.

At the time, only 2.6 million Australians had a PCEHR, though Labor had implemented the program in 2012.