Digital health agency will be subject to FOI

The new Australian Digital Health Agency being set up to take over from NEHTA will be subject to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, the Department of Health tells Pulse+IT.

Unlike its predecessor, which was set up as public company and not subject to FOI, the new agency has been established as a body corporate.

The Australian reported former FOI commissioner James Popper's reasoning back in 2011 – and there is more here from FOI guru Peter Timmins – for NEHTA's ability to dodge scrutiny despite being funded to the tune of $1 billion over the last 10 years.

NEHTA has always issued an annual report and CEO Peter Fleming regularly pops up at Senate Estimates hearings, although apparently he needn't, but getting information out of NEHTA has always been a hard slog.

The new agency – which is causing problems for the acronym lovers amongst us, as there is already an ADHA – will be taking over operation of the PCEHR as well as NEHTA's IP.

Everything seems to be going digital rather than eHealth these days. What was known as the eHealth division at the department is now being called the digital health division. However, just as the pecker (PCEHR) is hard to forget, so too eHealth.

Tags: PCEHR, My Health Record, FOI

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